A first-ever analysis released by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation finds that the economic benefits provided by nature in the Chesapeake Bay watershed will total $130 billion annually when the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, the regional plan to restore the Bay, is fully implemented. The Economic Benefits of Cleaning up the Chesapeake also reveals that in Pennsylvania, those annual benefits will approach $40 billion.
The peer-reviewed economic report, The Economic Benefits of Cleaning Up the Chesapeake, include the following findings:
In 2009 (before the Blueprint), the lands and waters of the Chesapeake Bay region provided economic benefits totaling $107.2 billion annually. This serves as the baseline for our study. These benefits include air and water filtration, agricultural and seafood production, property valuation, and flood and hurricane protection.
The value of these same benefits will increase by $22.5 billion to $129.7 billion annually if the Blueprint is fully implemented. Once realized, those benefits would be enjoyed year after year.
If the Blueprint is not fully implemented, pollution loads will increase, and the value of the natural benefits will decline by $5.6 billion annually to $101.5 billion. The value of the Bay region’s natural benefits will decline further after 2025 as additional pollution continues to degrade our natural resources.