the mill farm initiative

In 2013, DER contracted with ICF International to analyze the economic benefits of four ecosystem services enhanced by DER projects. The study found that restoration of aquatic habitats and the services they provide – including flood protection, improved water quality, climate change mitigation, and increased landscape appeal – can generate significant economic value. While these example ecosystem service values are impressive in their own right, they represent only one of many services improved by each project.

The Value of Restored Ecosystem Services FLOOD PROTECTION – Salisbury businesses and residents will benefit from increased flood protection provided by the Town Creek Restoration Project that will reduce economic impacts from flood damage and lost business by an estimated $2.5 million over the next 30 years. WATER QUALITY – The planned Muddy Creek Estuary Restoration Project in Chatham and Harwich will help those two towns save an estimated $3.9 million over 30 years to meet mandatory water quality standards by reducing wastewater infrastructure construction and operating costs. CARBON SEQUESTRATION – The Damde Meadows and Broad Meadows salt marsh restoration projects in Hingham and Quincy are estimated to prevent $86,000 and $138,000, respectively, in damages caused by greenhouse gases through 2050. The projected increase in carbon storage resulting from restoration of these two wetlands is equivalent to avoiding the combustion of over 800,000 gallons of gasoline. LANDSCAPE APPEAL – In the towns of Wellfleet and Truro, the planned 1,000-acre Herring River Restoration Project is projected to improve the value of over 1,400 properties as a result of being closer to healthy tidal wetlands after restoration, generating a total estimated property value increase of $10.4 million.

Economic Benefits Study Phase 1 - Economic Output Economic Impacts of Ecological Restoration (2012)

The above information is from DEP Department of Ecological Restoration and can be seen at:

http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dfg/der/pdf/summary-of-der-economic-benefits-studies-all-phases.pdf

The study results revealed extensive ripple effects in indirect and induced economic activity resulting from restoration project investments. The analysis found that, for every $1 million spent, the average economic output of DER projects generates a 75% return on investment and creates or maintains 12.5 full-time-equivalent jobs. These results equal or exceed those for other capital projects such as road and bridge construction, and replacement of water infrastructure.

To initiate Phase 1 of DER’s Economic Benefits Study, Industrial Economics (IEc) was hired in 2012 to evaluate the regional economic benefits associated with increased economic activity resulting from restoration projects. Using the economic model IMPLAN Version 3.0, IEc examined direct, indirect, and induced economic effects of investments in four DER projects. These projects represented a diversity of project types and included tidal restoration, dam deconstruction, salt marsh fill removal, and holistic restoration of a retired cranberry bog complex.