Home to almost 2 million people and providing valuable ecosystem services, the 1,705 square-mile Narragansett Bay Watershed defines the identity of Rhode Island, and 60% of the watershed is located in Massachusetts. The Narragansett Bay Estuary Program’s 2017 State of the Narragansett Bay and its Watershed report found that in recent decades, successful investments in wastewater treatment have cut nutrient pollution in the Bay in half. Now the challenges lie in addressing other pollution sources (primarily runoff from paved surfaces), protecting natural lands, and adapting to climate change.
The following studies examine various aspects of economic values associated with ecosystem services –water quality, coastal premiums on housing prices, and land use options and effects –in the Narragansett Bay watershed (NBW). These are important aspects to document in an effort to understand the economic value provided by the watershed.