Crab Bank Economic Report Takeaways:
- This research was conducted and written by Dr. Raymond J. Rhodes from the College of Charleston, and Dr. John C. Whitehead from Appalachian State University.
- This report estimates the use and non-use values of the restored Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary. The authors conclude that there is substantial value generated by the restoration of Crab Bank.
- The estimated annual economic contribution to the SC Tri-County economy for activities related to Crab Bank totals $5.18 million (in 2019 dollars). This includes outfitter ecotours, recreational fishing, shrimping, and paddle club activities.
- The restoration of Crab Bank resulted in a significant increase in recreational use value for the area - bringing more money to the surrounding area.
- The economic benefits of restoration far exceed the costs, making restoration an efficient use of money. After surveying nearby residents, the aggregate benefits value of a restored Crab Bank ranged from a minimum of $15 million to $60 million.
- This study’s scope did not include the following socioeconomic benefits of Crab Bank, though they likely also exist:
- Fostering local community links with their cultural and natural heritage,
- Generally nurturing local, regional, and national support for funding conservation programs,
- Providing a site for environmental education activities that advances localized conservation awareness,
- Providing a site that largely reinforces positive social “connectivity” with the environment, and
- Generally improving human health and well-being for active and passive users.
- These economic benefits provide insight in to the potential benefits of completing similar restoration projects that benefit coastal birds in other areas of the coast.
Crab Bank Engineering Report Takeaways:
- This research was conducted and written by Water Environment Consultants and led by Matthew Goodrich, P.E.
- The newly restored Crab Bank is providing protection to homes and businesses in the nearby community from wind, waves, and storm surge by buffering wave energy coming from the harbor.
- Audubon South Carolina commissioned a report by Water Environment Consultants, which found there is a large reduction in wave height on the shoreline for the area behind Crab Bank. In other words, Crab Bank helps minimize storm impacts to this coastal area.
- Crab Bank creates a large cost savings of about $1.6 million to structures that are sheltered by the island in an 10-year storm.
- These types of islands cause the greatest reductions in wave energy and potential shoreline erosion during typical conditions.
- In other areas of the coast with less stable shorelines and lower elevation homes, the wave reduction benefits of a bird-nesting island such as Crab Bank would be even greater - highlighting the need for projects like this to be replicated along other areas of the coast.