I was pretty stoked to come across a recent article about the coral reefs in Hawaii. Based on a fairly rigorous study using stated preference (SP) methodologies, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) determined that the American public values Hawaiian reefs at over $33,000,000,000.
YES, $33 BILLION.
Wow! That sure makes it easy to justify studying these reefs… they’re worth billions to the American public. Here’s the report and a video.
Of course, those of us in my field (Coral Reef Ecology) already know a coral’s worth; but it’s refreshing to hear that our society, as a whole, has made such a bold statement about their value. Perhaps it’s time to put our money where our reef is.