1: the economic benefits of restoring the lands and waters of our national parks
2: investments to protect economies and create American jobs on American lands
This report demonstrates the importance of investing in ecological restoration projects in and around our national parks. A changing climate can mean increased wildfires, droughts, and floods; decreased coastal wetland habit, and amplified stress for wildlife as existing habitats become unsuitable for sustaining their populations. But by addressing and attempting to alleviate the impacts of climate change, we enhance our economy and our job outlook. There is evidence of a direct correlation between restoring ecosystems and sustained economic growth.
What does it mean to “restore” a river, a national park, or for that matter, a nation?
National parks are not only a source of inspiration and recreation, they are a community anchor. They create jobs and support families in cities and towns across the country and they can be harnessed to restore our public lands and our nation.
Re·store·á·Nation: The Economic Benefits of Restoring the Lands and Waters of our National Parks highlights the need for continuing investments in restoration projects to sustain economies, maintain healthy ecosystems, address climate change, and create American jobs.
The report includes examples from: California, the Great Lakes, Louisiana, Maine, Connecticut, Washington, Colorado, and Arkansas. Click here to view a slide show of report images and projects.
Re·store·á·Nation highlights projects throughout the country that demonstrate economic benefits, including:
- Restoring coastal wetlands in Connecticut was significantly correlated with an average increase in housing values of more than $11,000.
- Implementing a comprehensive Great Lakes restoration strategy could support nearly $50 billion in economic activity in the region.
- Restoring the Elwha River in Olympic National Park is projected to generate 1,200 new jobs in Clallam County, Washington.
- Implementing Florida’s state climate action plan would generate 148,000 jobs over 16 years, including nearly 40,000 jobs restoring and establishing forests.
The report also includes the findings of a recent study that found conserving or restoring land instead of using it for industrial development is correlated with sustained economic growth.
Economic Performance in Park Gateway Regions
Figure 1: Gateway counties—those adjacent to national parks, public lands, and wilderness areas—outperform the nation as a whole in job growth, personal income growth, and population growth.
It also found that ecosystem restoration projects have shown impressive economic returns, some approaching 80 percent.
Ecosystem Restoration Return on Investment
Figure 2: New research shows that investments in ecosystem restoration projects offer substantial returns.
Re·store·á·Nation concludes that taking action now and investing in work that helps lands and animals respond to the earth’s changing climate—work that restores our ecosystems and essential habitats—will benefit not only wildlife and our national parks, but American communities.
Download the report (PDF, 5.3 MB)