Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Dr. Pallab Mozumder

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dr. Mahadev Bhat

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Dr. Michael C. Sukop

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Keywords

Ecosystem Services, Everglades, Economic Valuation, Choice Experiment, Decision Making, South Florida

Date of Defense

11-7-2014

Abstract

The Greater Everglades system imparts vital ecosystem services (ES) to South Florida residents including high quality drinking water supplies and a habitat for threatened and endangered species. As a result of the altered Everglades system and regional dynamics, restoration may either improve the provision of these services or impose a tradeoff between enhanced environmental goods and services and competing societal demands. The current study aims at understanding public preferences for restoration and generating willingness to pay (WTP) values for restored ES through the implementation of a discrete choice experiment. A previous study (Milon et al., 1999) generated WTP values amongst Floridians of up to $3.42 -$4.07 billion for full restoration over a 10-year period. We have collected data from 2,905 respondents taken from two samples who participated in an online survey designed to elicit the WTP values for selected ecological and social attributes included in the earlier study (Milon et al. 1999). We estimate that the Florida general public is willing to pay up to $854.1- $954.1 million over 10 years to avoid restrictions on their water usage and up to $90.8- $183.7 million over 10 years to restore the hydrological flow within the Water Conservation Area.

Identifier

FI14110740

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