ECONOMIC VALUATION OF RIPARIAN BUFFER AND OPEN SPACE IN A SUBURBAN WATERSHED1

Authors

  • Zeyuan Qiu,

    1. Respectively, Assistant Professor of Environmental Economics, Environmental Policy Studies Program, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 317 Cullimore Hall, University Heights, Newark, New Jersey 07102; Professor of Ecological Economics and Co-Director of the Center for Agricultural, Resource, and Environmental Systems, University of Missouri, 212 Mumford Hall, Columbia, Missouri 65211; and Executive Director, Greenway Network, Inc., St. Charles Community College Center, Suite 202, Room E, 4601 Mid Rivers Mall Dr., St. Peters, Missouri 63376 (E-Mail/Qiu: zeyuan.qiu@njit.edu).
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  • Tony Prato,

    1. Respectively, Assistant Professor of Environmental Economics, Environmental Policy Studies Program, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 317 Cullimore Hall, University Heights, Newark, New Jersey 07102; Professor of Ecological Economics and Co-Director of the Center for Agricultural, Resource, and Environmental Systems, University of Missouri, 212 Mumford Hall, Columbia, Missouri 65211; and Executive Director, Greenway Network, Inc., St. Charles Community College Center, Suite 202, Room E, 4601 Mid Rivers Mall Dr., St. Peters, Missouri 63376 (E-Mail/Qiu: zeyuan.qiu@njit.edu).
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  • Gerry Boehrn

    1. Respectively, Assistant Professor of Environmental Economics, Environmental Policy Studies Program, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 317 Cullimore Hall, University Heights, Newark, New Jersey 07102; Professor of Ecological Economics and Co-Director of the Center for Agricultural, Resource, and Environmental Systems, University of Missouri, 212 Mumford Hall, Columbia, Missouri 65211; and Executive Director, Greenway Network, Inc., St. Charles Community College Center, Suite 202, Room E, 4601 Mid Rivers Mall Dr., St. Peters, Missouri 63376 (E-Mail/Qiu: zeyuan.qiu@njit.edu).
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  • 1

    Paper No. 04078 of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) (Copyright © 2006). Discussions are open until June 1, 2007.

Abstract

Abstract: This study evaluates the economic value of riparian buffers and open space in a suburban watershed through two nonmarket valuation methods. A contingent valuation survey was implemented in the Dardenne Creek watershed, a suburban watershed of the St. Louis metropolitan area in Missouri, to evaluate the residents' perceptions of and willingness to pay (WTP) for adopting riparian buffers and preserving farmland in a hypothetical real estate market. A hedonic pricing model based on actual sale prices of homes in the watershed was applied to estimate the market value of open space and other environmental conditions such as flood zone and stream proximity in the study area. The results showed that residents' WTP was consistent with the economic values of open space and proximity to streams embedded in existing home prices. Through a better understanding of residents' perceptions and values, riparian buffer and open space programs can be designed and promoted to achieve greater implementation success and environmental benefit.

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