Using Ecosystem Services to Evaluate Future Development Scenarios in Coastal Georgia
PIs: C. Ronald Carroll (UGA River Basin Center, Odum School of Ecology), M. Alber (UGA Marine Sciences), K. Sheehan (UGA River Basin Center, Odum School of Ecology), J.P. Schmidt (UGA Odum School of Ecology/ Marine Sciences).
Georgia Sea Grant College Program
The purpose of this study is to use the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) model and other valuation approaches for ecosystem services to generate maps, trade-offs, and economic balance sheets for stakeholders in McIntosh county including local government officials, county planners, members of the development community, regional planning agencies and non-governmental organizations. This stakeholder engagement process and model-making may then be used as a template in other coastal counties as well as different scales (e.g., individual developments or the entire Georgia coast).
The research team has completed the valuation, biomass production and map of timber lands, which represent the largest land use category in the county. Coastal data has also been compiled for flood hazard and biodiversity. InVEST simulations have been run for timber production and flood hazards. A meeting with local public officials has been scheduled in order to explain the project and present some preliminary results to them.