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Ecosystem Services

Healthy, functioning ecosystems provide us with clean water and clean air, which would otherwise require the application of expensive technologies to produce. Ecosystems also provide natural flood control, pollination, natural pest controls, carbon storage to help buffer against climate change, and habitat for fish, wildlife, and plant species.

We are just beginning to explore and understand how to assign economic value to these services. Educational institutions and non-profit organizations have a variety of projects underway aimed at establishing economic values for healthy ecosystems. 

For a number of articles on Ecosystem Servuces, visit these web sites:

Environmental Literacy Council

The Environmental Literacy Council is an independent, non-profit made up of scientists, economists, and educators striving to connect teachers and students to science-based information on environmental issues.  This page discusses the importance of Ecosystem Services.

The Encyclopedia of Earth - Ecosystems Services in Washington State

The Encyclopedia of Earth is a new electronic reference about the Earth, its natural environments, and their interaction with society.  This article is about Ecosystem Services in Washington state.

Earth Economics - The Economic Value of Nature's Services in the Puget Sound Basin

Earth Economics has a mission of advancing and applying the science of ecological economics to promote healthy ecosystems, communities and economies.   This article discusses the economic value of Ecosystem Services.

Fact Sheets about Ecosystem Services

Here are several fact sheets on different aspects of Ecosystem Services.  Each fact sheet may be downloaded as a PDF file to print and distribute at local events.

Washington Biodiversity Council

The Washington Biodiversity Council sought to address some of the most pressing environmental issues of our time: How to conserve Washington's native plants, animals, and ecosystems for current and future generations.  The Council was active from 2004-2010, and considered ecosystem services an integral part of reaching their goals.

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