Valuation of the Connecticut River

A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Joint-State Clean Water Spending
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1617-11
Monday, June 5, 2017

In this report, we value the Connecticut River corridor between Vermont and New Hampshire to analyze the combined economic value the river brings to both states. This report focuses on eight metrics to value the river corridor, including community value-added, recreation, fishing, managed resources, river health, flooding, ecosystem services, and intrinsic value. We do not tabulate the value of the entire watershed or any tributaries, but focus solely on deriving the value of the Connecticut River itself. We examine tradeoffs between economic development and conservation and how different methods of development may benefit or harm other sources of the river. The Connecticut River is a major source of use and non-use values for citizens and visitors to Vermont and New Hampshire. It is important for policymakers, stakeholders, and taxpayers to recognize differing sources of value when it comes to deciding on future development or conservation actions.

This report builds on a previous PRS report titled “The Value of the Connecticut River: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Vermont Clean Water Act Spending” prepared by Joby Bernstein and Bill Kosmidis. This report significantly overlaps with their executive summary, purpose statement, literature review, and overall research design.