Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Walter Z. Tang

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Grace M. Johns

Third Advisor's Name

Mahadev G. Bhat

Date of Defense



An economic valuation methodology was developed in order to monetarily quantify the benefits resulting from the Indian River Lagoon - South (IRLS) $995 million Everglades restoration project. Service flows of the IRLS were identified and their associated economic baseline values were estimated utilizing existing research. A water quality baseline for the IRLS was also established and compared with the best available standards. Benefits accruing beyond the baseline values given the completion of the IRLS restoration were estimated via benefit transfer to be approximately $159 million annually, importantly factoring in the established IRLS water quality baseline.

Given these benefit results of a lower bound estimate, the project was determined not to be economically feasible, i.e., NPV < $0, via a cost-benefit analysis. However, Monte Carlo analyses provided further insights into the probability of an economically feasible restoration (36%) given the uncertainty surrounding the benefit estimation, as well as specific variables to focus on to improve this probability. This research highlights the potential significant economic value of the IRLS and the importance of properly estimating this value given the magnitude of costs.




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