The Economic Value of Outdoor Recreation on a Coastal Beach and Dune System in Ireland’s Southwest

In Ireland, 1.9 million people (40% of the population) reside within 5km of the coast. Legally, the coastal zone in Ireland has no defined limits, yet is our most stressed environment due to rising anthropogenic pressures and evolving climate hazards. Sandy beaches and coastal dunes are experiencing chronic degradation and the diverse array of ‘natural’ ecosystem services they provide to coastal communities and economies, including coastal defences and outdoor recreation opportunities, are being lost. Environmental economists have been vocal in advocating for the non-market economic valuation of coastal ecosystem services as a means of instigating and justifying equitable policies that conserve the natural capital of these often rural areas.

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