Healthy intact watersheds provide many ecosystem services that are necessary for our social and economic well-being. These services include water filtration and storage, air filtration, carbon storage, nutrient cycling, soil formation, recreation, food and timber. Many of these services have not been monetized and therefore the economic contributions of healthy intact ecosystems are often under-valued when making land use decisions.
Preventing impairments in healthy watersheds protects valuable ecosystem services that provide economic benefits to society and prevent expensive replacement and restoration costs. Maintaining riparian connectivity and natural processes in the landscape provide a supporting network for ecological integrity, ensuring the sustainable and cost effective provision of clean water over time.
Check out more information on this handy, downloadable & printable fact sheet from the EPA, "The Economic Benefits of Protecting Healthy Watersheds" (PDF). Included are interesting facts on costs of mitigation, benefits to communities, property values, and average treatment costs. Also be sure to check out the EPA's website on Healthy Watersheds here.