Press Release Long Island Sound April 2015

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, April 27, 2015 CONTACTS Primary Contact David Batker, Executive Director, Earth Economics [email protected] Phone 253-­‐208-­‐9140 Secondary Contacts Maya Kocian, Senior Economist, Earth Economics [email protected] Phone 253-­‐208-­‐9140 Nature’s value in the Long Island Sound Basin worth up to $1.3 trillion Tacoma, WA – April 28, 2015 – Today, Earth Economics released The Trillion Dollar Asset: The Economic Value of the Long Island Sound Basin, the first-­‐ever comprehensive valuation of the economic benefits of the Long Island Sound and the natural lands situated in its basin. The water and land in the basin are natural capital assets producing a flow of benefits derived from nature—called ecosystem services—including water supply, clean air, waste treatment resulting in higher water quality, wildlife habitat, pollination, and recreation. According to the report, the total annual value of these natural benefits ranges from $17 billion to $36.6 billion. The Trillion Dollar Asset also estimated the natural capital asset value of ecosystems in the basin. Over 100 years, the conservative estimate of the total economic value of ecosystem service benefits ranges from $690 billion to $1.3 trillion. Understanding the scale of value these benefits provide dispels the assumption that nature has little value in the economy and quantifies the many ways in which natural lands improve our health and quality of life. “Our analysis demonstrates the trillion dollar value in the Long Island Sound Basin. Clearly, this is an asset worth investing in,” said David Batker, executive director of Earth Economics. The benefits of these natural resources are distributed across 9 sub-­‐basins and include ecosystems such as beach, freshwater, seagrass, estuary, forests, grassland, cultivated land, urban green space, and wetlands. Altogether, more than 10 million acres of natural spaces were valued across New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Hampshire. The report is one output in a project whose goals are to significantly inform stakeholders’ understanding of the economic value generated by natural lands, focusing on educators, legislators, researchers, the general public, and key decision makers. 107 N. Tacoma Avenue T 253 539 4804 Tacoma, WA 98403 F 253 539 5054 Stakeholders comprising the target audience for this project have the capability to influence policy, budgets, and priorities for water and natural resource management within the basin. Results can also aid the development of best management practices for water resources and funding mechanisms to secure financial investment in Basin ecology, which the report shows has huge economic and social value. “Our next challenge is to look at the value of upgrading the health of this basin. Our analysis has shown the full scale of the value that the Long Island Sound Basin provides, justifying real investments in the basin's restoration and health. Ultimately, restoration and upgrades will yield a higher rate of return,” said Maya Kocian, senior economist of Earth Economics. This report demonstrates the immense size of the asset that is the natural lands in the basin. Wise investment in natural assets secures more resilient, less risky, and more sustainable returns in property values, food security, water quality, storm protection, recreation, and other goods and services – benefits that are ingredients for providing job growth, rising real wages, and a more prosperous economy. For more information on Earth Economics and its work in the Long Island Sound Basin, visit ### Earth Economics applies new economic tools and principles to meet the challenges of the 21st century: achieving the need for just and equitable communities, healthy ecosystems, and sustainable economies. 107 N. Tacoma Avenue T 253 539 4804 Tacoma, WA 98403 F 253 539 5054