In 2014, SBEP completed an Economic Valuation Study to better understand the total value of Sarasota Bay resources and the ecosystem services that the Bay provides to the surrounding community. The SBEP Policy Board approved funding for the two-phase study which was recommended by the SBEP Citizen Advisory Committee.
The Economic Valuation Study was led by Paul Hindsley, PhD, an Environmental Studies Professor at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg and the Coordinator of Eckerd’s Coastal Management Program. The two-year study was divided in two phases. Phase One focused on the total capitalized value of single family properties on or near the bay while Phase Two included a survey of residents and visitors to learn how people access and use resources associated with Sarasota Bay.
In this study, the authors calculated several different types of economic values: 1) economic value for recreation trips to the Sarasota Bay Estuary, 2) economic value for living in close proximity to the Sarasota Bay Estuary, and 3) the economic value of key Sarasota Bay Estuarine resources. They also estimated the economic impact of visitor-based recreation.
The study concluded that the value of Sarasota Bay resources to households in Sarasota and Manatee counties is $11.8 billion.