Many of our natural areas and native habitats provide specific benefits that we enjoy and that have an economic impact. Those benefits, which we refer to as ecosystem services, are things like clean air, clean water, soil for our crops, and fish and shellfish for us to eat.
Preservation of land provides a return on investment in a number of ways including reducing or eliminating the need for storm water drainage or sewage treatment facilities, removal of air pollutants and greenhouses gases, building organic soils for farming and forestry, removing nutrients and contaminants from our waterways, maintaining native habitats and wildlife, and protection from storms, floods and droughts. These are services that we would otherwise have to pay for, if not for nature. For example, a wetland will filter out pollutants like nitrogen at a high rate. If you don’t preserve that wetland, the city could be required to build a waste treatment plant.
Our Preservation Portfolio will show you the more than 112,000 acres of land that we have identified as being in critical need of conservation and will show you the dollar impact to the economy in preserving these lands.