Executive Summary

Wetlands, marshes, and bogs in Delaware provide significant economic value ranging from $1 billion to $3 billion annually and support 25,000 jobs with $568 million in wages in the state and surrounding region. This report examines the economic value of wetlands in Delaware in three ways:

  • Economic value directly related to Delaware wetland habitat. Delaware wetlands contribute over $1 billion in annual economic value from water quality, flood control, parks/open space, fish/wildlife, recreation, forested wetlands/carbon storage, and nonuse value (willingness to pay) functions.
  • Value of goods and services provided by Delaware wetlands. Wetland ecosystems in Delaware provide a present value (PV) of $3 billion per year in goods and services in 2010 dollars with a net present value (NPV) of $99 billion calculated over a 100-year period.
  • Employment supported by Delaware wetlands. Delaware wetlands support 25,000 direct and indirect jobs with $568 million in wages from employment in the living marine resources, tourism/recreation, fishing/hunting/birding, national wildlife refuge, outdoor recreation, and wetland organization sectors.
  • Wetlands that cover about a quarter of the State of Delaware land mass provide significant economic benefits to the First State and are worthy of investment to keep these productive living resources healthy and productive. These estimates were made by utilizing values from the peer reviewed literature and existing studies and applying them to Delaware using ecological economics and benefits-transfer techniques described in this report. All values in are in 2010 dollars except where noted.

    It is also important to note that the estimates presented in this report are not all inclusive due to a lack of data for some economic sectors. Some values were not included in these estimates because the data to assess them either are not readily available or do not exist. Regardless of the lack of data in some economic sectors, these estimates clearly indicate that Delaware wetlands contribute between $1 billion and $3 billion annually to the state and regional economy and support at least 25,000 jobs.

    Socioeconomic Value of Delaware Wetlands Final Report, April 2018

    Socioeconomic Value of Delaware Wetlands Presentation June 21, 2018