Home > Explore Data & Reports > Economic Valuation of Shoreline Protection within the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve


Loerzel, J., M. Gorstein, A.M. Rezaie, S.B. Gonyo, C.S. Fleming, and A. Orthmeyer. 2017. Economic Valuation of Shoreline Protection within the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 234. Silver Spring. 78 pp. https://doi.org/10.7289/V5/TM-NOS-NCCOS-234

Data/Report Type:

NOAA Technical Memorandum


This study focuses on the ecosystem of coastal habitats (e.g., seagrass beds, marshes, and coastal forests), which operate as natural infrastructure, and can benefit coastal communities, other types of human development, and economic activity by reducing the impacts of coastal hazards. This study used the “damages avoided” method, in which the ameliorating benefits of a natural habitat are measured by using either the value of property protected or the cost of actions taken to avoid damages (i.e. storm surge, flooding, etc.) as a measure of the benefits provided by an ecosystem. Additionally, a second, market-based, method was used to quantify the value of open space preservation (OSP) in terms of its effect on flood insurance premiums. This included insurance premium savings made possible by the preservation of open space through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS). The area of interest for this project was the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (JC NERR), which encompasses approximately 115,000 acres in southeastern New Jersey in parts of Atlantic, Burlington, and Ocean Counties. By utilizing coastal hydrodynamic and wave models (i.e., the Advanced Circulation (ADCIRC) model and the Simulating Waves Nearshore (SWAN) model), three storm events (Hurricane Sandy event, a 50-year storm event, and a 25-year storm event) were simulated for two land cover scenarios.

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