This dissertation examines the threats to and cost of salt marsh preservation. Salt marsh habitats have been threatened by a receding coastline brought upon by global warming-induced sea level rise. When this is combined with expanding urban development and shoreline armoring (such as the installation of riprap and bulkheads), a ‘coastal squeeze’ is created where salt marsh habitats gradually diminish. This situation has provided a new role for conservation agencies to play in the preservation of these habitats through the purchase of “transgression zones”, which is land that could become salt marsh through “marsh migration” (the movement of salt marsh onto undeveloped and unarmored uplands).
Unfortunately, in many cases it can be difficult for these conservation agencies to obtain accurate cost estimates for the purchase of land for preservation purposes. The first chapter introduces a hedonic model designed to forecast the cost of land that may serve as a transgression zone. The model takes into account various geospatial characteristics that would make the land suitable (or not) for salt marsh habitats. The cost of purchase is determined by several factors including the type of land (forest or farm), coastal proximity, elevation, and level of connectivity. The accuracy of model cost predictions is demonstrated when the model is used to predict the cost of land expected to have marsh migration in several long-run sea level rise scenarios. When model cost predictions are compared to cost predictions using averages (the average cost of forest, farm, or all land expected to have marsh migration) the model predictions are superior. In general, cost predictions vary by land type and sea level rise scenarios, and predictions are most accurate when including features relevant to marsh migration.
The potential loss of salt marsh habitats warrants an understanding of their value. This is the focus of the second chapter. A hedonic model is developed to examine the value of salt marshes through their effect on residential property values. The model includes various spatial attributes (proximity and area measures) in order to fully measure the effect. Results show that salt marsh has a positive impact on property values with greater amounts located within a 250 to 500-meter buffer of the home and a negative impact with greater amounts located on the parcel itself.
Although armoring is a major contributor to the issue of coastal squeeze few papers in the economics literature have examined its determinants, and none have examined the influence of armoring in relation to salt marshes and marsh migration. The third chapter examines the factors that influence the likelihood of (riprap and bulkhead) armoring, with an emphasis on those related to marsh migration, erosion, and flooding. The evidence shows armoring taking place away from salt marsh habitats and areas suited to marsh migration. The primary driver of armoring is erosion risk, rather than flood and marsh migration risk.
|Advisor:||Johnston, Robert J.|
|Commitee:||Geogheghan, Jacqueline, Gray, Wayne|
|School Location:||United States -- Massachusetts|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Armoring, Conservation, Hedonic, Salt marsh, Sea-level rise, Transgression|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be