The Wekiva River is one of the few remaining near-pristine river systems in the Central Florida region. It was designated a component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers in 2000 and over 110 square miles of the river systems basin are protected as parks, preserves, and state forests.
Despite this ample recognition, the Wekiva River and its fragile ecosystem face numerous threats, including declines in spring flow and the degradation of the river’s water quality.
On Wednesday, November 18th from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. (ET), REMI will be joined by the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council’s Economic Development Manager Luis Nieves-Ruiz for our guest webinar, “Estimating the Value of Central Florida’s Natural Systems.”
To support its efforts on behalf of the river system, The Friends of the Wekiva River partnered with the ECFRPC to conduct an economic valuation that used two different scenarios for the analysis. The first “valuation” scenario estimated the economic value of the Wekiva River to the region based on visitor and government spending, in addition to real estate property values. The second simulation assessed the economic effects caused by a decreasing number of Wekiva Basin visitors due to a significant decline in water quality in the springs and river system.
This guest presentation will review the ECFRPC’s study of the Wekiva River and describe the major findings. Mr. Nieves-Ruiz is also prepared to discuss the methodological framework behind this report on the value of natural systems.