The Value of the Connecticut River

A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Vermont Clean Water Act Spending
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1617-06
Thursday, April 13, 2017

In this report, we value the Connecticut River corridor between Vermont and New Hampshire to analyze the economic value for the state of Vermont. 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 value from 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.  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.