the primary focus of CERP model development efforts, and substantial progress has been made on the NSRSM and in subregional applications of the RSM. In contrast, efforts to develop ecological models, linked ecological-hydrologic models, and biogeochemical or sediment transport models are notably minimal. As a result, project planning and decision making proceeds without complete information as to the ecological and water quality impacts at both a project and regional scale.

Although the concept of economic valuation of ecosystem services is a promising and important one, the committee does not see near-term benefits to its use in the CERP. Developing accurate and defensible estimates of the economic values of ecosystem services in the Everglades will require careful, deliberate, original research and analysis that integrates assessments of aquatic ecosystem functions, services, and individual value estimates. Prerequisites for such an analysis are integrated hydrologic, ecological, and biogeochemical models that can predict the ecosystem services that will likely result from alternative restoration activities; even with such models, the analysis would require a large effort. For this reason, economic valuation of ecosystem services is unlikely to assist near-term decision making. Everglades restoration planners should be alert to specific opportunities when the economic valuation of ecosystem services has the potential to be useful, and, especially, to improve the methods for economic valuation of ecosystem services and adapt them to the Everglades.



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