Evaluation of coastal protection services provided by nearshore habitats in Cox Bay, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
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Subjectclimate change adaptation; coastal protection; ecosystem services; natural capital; nearshore habitats; valuation
>Coastal and marine resources have been in global decline the past three decades. Research suggests that the decline is due to an undervaluation of ecosystem services. The Natural Capital Project (Natcap) has developed models to assess the impact of human activities on the sustained delivery of ecosystem services within terrestrial and marine environments. With the use of Natcap models, this case study (located at Cox Bay, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada), examined coastal protection services provided by nearshore habitats, and provides an economic valuation of these services. The model results indicate that nearshore habitats do play a role in reducing coastal vulnerability and coastal erosion, with an "avoided damages" cost of $1 million. Sand dunes provided the greatest amount of coastal protection, whereas seagrasses were found to have a negligible effect. These outcomes can inform policy and decision makers about trade-offs regarding habitat protection, coastal development and climate change adaptation.
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