What’s the value to a healthy reef?

How much would you pay?

My first (short) paper of graduate school is due Wednesday. I am valuing an environmental amenity. Not surprisingly, I’ve chosen coral reefs. And specifically, the coral reefs of Havelock.

Above, we see a somewhat healthy reef at South Button. What’s its value? For fishing? For tourism and recreation? For biodiversity? For coastal protection?

Does it have intrinsic value, beyond any use or option-to-use value?

And just how do we determine these values? What methods or metrics?

These are the questions I’m answering in my paper at present.

And must everything be translated into dollar amounts? (Short, unfortunate but practical answer to that last question is yes, if we’re going to make policy recommendations for preservation.)

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