The Value of Nature

Cover image of Losing Ground 2020 © Julie Archibald
© Julie Archibald

Beyond nature's intrinsic value, it also provides many benefits to people. Whether filtering our air and water, absorbing carbon emissions that would otherwise contribute to climate change, or providing recreational opportunities that benefit local economies as well as physical and mental health, our ecosystems are inherently tied to our wellbeing.

These services will be even more important as we prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Nature-based solutions to problems like flooding and storm damage are often cheaper, simpler, and more effective than built solutions.

"Value of Nature" Fact Sheets

These fact sheets focus on the ecosystem services provided by five different ecosystems and pull from a literature review of over 100 technical papers:

Ecosystem Service Resources

→ Get an overview of the project's partners and outcomes.

→ Mass Audubon and Eastern Research Group compiled a filterable database of ecosystem service valuation studies that pulls from a literature review of over 200 references. It features 54 distinct studies that present a total of 92 ecosystem services values.

→ The Narragansett Bay Watershed Economy project, produced by our partners at URI's Coastal Institute with input from Mass Audubon, focuses on the economic benefits of ecosystem services in the Narragansett Bay Watershed.

→ A published study by Stanford University's Natural Capital Project evaluated residents' willingness-to-pay for improved water quality in the Narragansett Bay Watershed from 2001-2011.

→ Mass Audubon's Losing Ground report highlights recent land use trends in Massachusetts, and the value of protecting nature in a changing climate.

→ Learn more about nature-based solutions to climate impacts, land conservation, and sustainable development:

Project Partners & Support

The "Integrating Ecosystem Services Functions and Values into Land Use Decision Making in the Narragansett Bay Watershed" project was supported, in part, under Assistance Agreement No. SE - 00A00252 awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Mass Audubon. The Lookout Foundation also provided funding to Mass Audubon. The Narragansett Bay Watershed Economy project was conceived and partially supported by the Coastal Institute at the University of Rhode Island under the leadership of Dr. Emi Uchida. Additional project partners include the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, the URI Coastal Resources Center, the Natural Capital Project at Stanford University, and the George Perkins Marsh Institute at Clark University. The views expressed in this project are solely those of the authors. It has not been formally reviewed by EPA. Additional information is available at

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