Coral reefs are very valuable. In that, they protect people, structures, and economic activity in the U.S. from coastal flooding during storms. This is according to a recent paper in Nature Sustainability which is leading by researchers from a West Coast university and the U.S. Geological Survey.
Hawaii receives the biggest total economic benefits from reefs of all U.S. states and territories. It is estimating at $831 million per year in damage protection.
The economic benefits of flood protection in Hawaii, in fact, are greater than those in all other regions that are combining. Valued at $394 million per is what flood protection on Oahu costs. It is $375 million per year on Maui.
Ocean Ecosystem and Economy
Healthy coral reefs are really the foundation of our nearshore ocean ecosystem and economy. In addition to flood protection, reefs provide $10 million in nearshore fisheries that, in fact, support the local families, and more than $1.6 billion in the value to tourism each year. Moreover, it is supporting the recreational, cultural, and spiritual renewal of residents and visitors alike.
However, it has been noted that human impacts and a changing climate are creating unparalleled threats to coral reefs here. Thus around the world. In fact, Hawaii’s reefs are really valuable and moreover, irreplaceable natural assets, and we needing to invest in their essential protection.
The funds for reef conservation and restoration are limiting. This is particularly important compared to spending on disaster management. Though given forth the high value of reefs for flood reduction. In fact, the study does note we should be investing in preserving the societal benefits of reefs. Thus, ensuring we can, in fact, help them to recover quickly when in fact they are damaging.
In fact, the Nature Conservancy is, moreover, leading the charge. That is to develop cutting-edge financing approaches for reef protection, including reef insurance. TNC worked in partnership with the state government and the local community outside of the U.S. to develop the world’s first reef insurance policy.