Swamp Swaps: The 'Second Nature' of Wetlands
72 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2009 Last revised: 19 Mar 2014
Date Written: September 21, 2009
American wetlands were once valued only as sites for their own destruction. Today markets are increasingly assigning values to intact wetlands for purposes such as mitigation, water quality protection, rare species support, greenhouse gas diminution, and biofuel production. Federal law has tried to protect wetlands’ wetness but offers few guidelines for wetland use. Market-oriented regulation may encourage efficient use of wetlands, but only if newly-forming markets can quickly acquire the confidence of investors who are suspicious after recent market failures. New wetland management techniques may produce real benefits, and are worth encouraging as long as large areas of natural wetlands are protected.
Keywords: wetlands, carbon market, methane, mitigation bank
JEL Classification: K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation