Livelihoods and lifestyles of people throughout the world depend on essential goods and services provided by marine and coastal ecosystems. However, as societal demand increases and available ocean and coastal space diminish, better methods are needed to spatially and temporally allocate ocean and coastal activities such as shipping, energy production, tourism, and fishing. While economic valuation is an important mechanism for doing so, cultural ecosystem services often do not lend themselves to this method. Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey are working collaboratively with the Florida Sea Grant College Program to map nonmonetary values of cultural ecosystem services for a pilot area (Sarasota Bay) in the Gulf of Mexico. The research seeks to close knowledge gaps about the attitudes and perceptions, or nonmonetary values, held by coastal residents toward cultural ecosystem services, and to adapt related, terrestrial-based research methods to a coastal setting. A critical goal is to integrate research results with coastal and marine spatial planning applications, thus making them relevant to coastal planners and managers in their daily efforts to sustainably manage coastal resources. Using information about the attitudes and preferences of people toward places and uses in the landscape, collected from value and preference surveys, the USGS SolVES 2.0 tool will provide quantitative models to relate social values, or perceived nonmonetary values, assigned to locations by survey respondents with the underlying environmental characteristics of those same locations. Project results will increase scientific and geographic knowledge of how Sarasota Bay residents value their area’s cultural ecosystem services.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
A spatial analysis of cultural ecosystem service valuation by regional stakeholders in Florida: a coastal application of the social values for ecosystem services (SolVES) tool
U.S. Geological Survey
Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center