Open Access

Quality over Quantity: Non-market Values of Restoring Coastal Dunes in the US Pacific Northwest

Tu Nguyen, David M. Kling, Steven J. Dundas, Sally D. Hacker, Daniel K. Lew, Peter Ruggiero and Katherine Roy


We design a choice experiment to examine public preferences for coastal dune ecosystem restoration in the US Pacific Northwest, a public good whose natural state is now rare. Respondents are asked to choose among hypothetical projects that vary by project size, restoration quality, recreation access, flooding risk, and cost. Restoration quality is defined as closeness to the natural ecosystem. We find that increasing restoration quality results in significantly higher welfare gains than increasing the size of restoration area. Maintaining recreation access is preferred, and programs with recreation restrictions yield positive willingness-to-pay only if accompanied by the highest restoration quality.

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