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Wild CapitalNature's Economic and Ecological Wealth$
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Barbara K. Jones

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781683401049

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683401049.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

Florida’s Endearing Manatees

Florida’s Endearing Manatees

(p.121) 5 Florida’s Endearing Manatees
Wild Capital

Barbara K. Jones

University Press of Florida

By assigning economic value to the manatee, the costs and benefits associated with conserving and protecting them and their habitat can more effectively compete in the marketplace. Just as the Endangered Species Act assigned value to social benefits or Eleanor Ostrom demonstrated how governing the commons could turn public goods into private ones, assessing the measurable benefits of a resource makes both environmental and economic sense. The manatee’s charisma, combined with a recognized economic value, has helped us maintain a better relationship with the species and moved the manatee and its habitat to the frontlines of Florida’s conservation agenda. Their increased numbers and expanding human fan base have made them the face for improving ecosystem biodiversity and water quality, as well as encouraging better land use decisions along Florida’s rapidly developing coastline. Effective branding by well-respected institutions like Save the Manatee Club and The Ocean Conservancy has made saving the manatee a cause that transcends the local and hopefully has made co-existing with the gentle giants in their habitat something each one of us will readily choose to do.

Keywords:   Endangered Species Act, Eleanor Ostrom, Manatee, Conservation, Save the Manatee Club, The Ocean Conservancy, Gentle giants, Ecotourism, Measurable benefits, Florida

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