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Ciencias marinas

versión impresa ISSN 0185-3880


PERNI, A; MARTINEZ-CARRASCO, F  y  MARTINEZ-PAZ, JM. Economic valuation of coastal lagoon environmental restoration: Mar Menor (SE Spain). Cienc. mar [online]. 2011, vol.37, n.2, pp.175-190. ISSN 0185-3880.

Coastal lagoons are a special type of boundary ecosystem between marine and terrestrial environments, which in many cases are threatened by human activities developed in the periphery. One of the most important anthropogenic impacts sustained by coastal lagoons is eutrophication, as a result of nutrient enrichment of the water from agriculture and deficient treatment systems. In the European Union, laws such as the Water Framework Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive aim to achieve a good ecological status for these ecosystems through a program of measures, which must take into account the benefits generated by them. In this study we have applied the contingent valuation method to estimate the benefits generated by the measures to improve the ecological status of the Mar Menor coastal lagoon (SE Spain), one of the most important of the Mediterranean Sea. The results show that there is a willingness to pay for the implementation of additional measures apart from urban wastewater treatment and other obligatory measures. From the willingness to pay values obtained, the environmental benefits generated by the correction of the impacts at Mar Menor were estimated. These benefits add up to 17.4 million euros per year, of which 7.7 and 9.7 are related to the increase in the use and non-use values, respectively. On the other hand, the estimation of the derived demand function has shown that variables such as the connection to Mar Menor and the level of environmental awareness have a positive influence on the willingness to pay.

Palabras llave : contingent valuation; environmental restoration; eutrophication; environmental benefits; coastal lagoon.

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