The focus of this special section is the conceptual and empirical issues associated with the development of water-based recreation benefit estimation methodologies. The papers address two themes in the ongoing development of modeling the demand for outdoor recreation. The issues of characterizing and estimating nonuse (existence) values are discussed by K. J. Boyle and R. C. Bishop (this issue) and B. Madariaga and K. E. McConnell (this issue). R. Mendelsohn (this issue) and N. E. Bockstael et al. (this issue) address the problem of developing consistent methodologies for modeling the household's recreation decisions. This paper attempts to identify and highlight the issues and interrelationships of both sets of papers. An attempt is made to identify remaining research issues.