Irreversibility and Sustainability: Attempts to Save the Florida Everglades

By Andrew Schmitz, Lynn Kennedy and Julie Hill-Gabriel.

Published by The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability: Annual Review

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: June 17, 2015 $US5.00

The Everglades is a subtropical wetland in Florida encompassing a watershed area over 18,000 square miles. We provide a spatial price equilibrium model in order to determine the benefits and costs of several proposed buyout strategies. Florida Governor Charlie Christ originally proposed the acquisition of 187,000 acres of land from the U.S. Sugar Corporation (U.S. Sugar) in 2008, in an effort to restore the Florida Everglades. However, in 2010, the final litigation only covered 26,800 acres. Our analysis includes the cost to clean up the Everglades and shows that the benefits were less than the costs within an ex ante vs. ex post framework. Importantly, this research develops and applies the concept of an Environmental Equivalent, which is the dollar amount of environmental benefits needed from the Everglades restoration or water quality projects to generate a benefit-cost ratio greater than one.

Keywords: Benefit-cost Analysis, Florida Everglades, Spatial Price Equilibrium Model

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability: Annual Review, Volume 10, pp.1-14. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: June 17, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 685.711KB)).

Dr. Andrew Schmitz

Professor, Food and Resource Economics Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Prof. Lynn Kennedy

Louisiana State University AgCenter, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Esq. Julie Hill-Gabriel

National Audubon Society, Miami, Florida, USA