The Hill: "Wetland Conservation is Worth the Cost"

Based on her new study about the economic benefits of wetlands, RFF Fellow Hannah Druckenmiller discusses the nuances of private wetland ownership in her op-ed.

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April 17, 2022

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The Hill

Many of these services flow to others in the community; you don’t need to own wetlands to benefit from the clean water they produce, for example. And this effect is quantifiable: A new study, which I co-authored with Charles Taylor of Columbia University, found that wetland loss imposes a significant burden on surrounding communities. We estimate that converting one hectare of wetlands (roughly the size of 2.5 football fields) to built-up land increases property damages from flooding by more than $12,000 per year... So, while there are certainly arguments for landowners to have autonomy over how they use their property, the effect of their actions on their neighbors is no small potatoes.

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