Valuation of Ecosystem Goods and Services in the Lake Erie Basin Economy
Environment Canada is mandated to contribute to a bi-national framework to address the nutrients that are linked to the increase in harmful and nuisance algal blooms on Lake Erie. Development of this framework required an economic assessment of the impact of algal blooms on the Lake Erie basin. The assessment provided estimates of the costs of blooms under three different scenarios of phosphorus loads into Lake Erie. More specifically, the study:
- estimated the baseline contribution of the ecological goods and services provided by Lake Erie to the Ontario portion of the Lake Erie basin economy, and
- estimated the change in the value of these goods and services associated with an increase in algal blooms (business-as-usual scenario) and a decrease in blooms (policy intervention scenario).
In partnership with David Sawyer of EnviroEconomics, Midsummer Analytics undertook the valuation of Lake Erie’s ecological goods and services under three different scenarios for the 30-year evolution of algal blooms: no change; business-as-usual (increased blooms) and policy intervention. EnviroEconomics led the development of the Monte Carlo simulation model used to estimate the impact of the blooms while we led on the development of the bloom scenarios. In addition, we provided overall project management for the study and were lead author on the final report. The report was well received and served as the basis for a paper outlining the innovative approaches used in the study that has been submitted for publication in the academic journal Toxic Algae.