The price of fighting climate change in South Florida has so far focused largely on the billions needed to install pumps, raise roads and retrofit the sprawling infrastructure that keeps the region above sea level. But South Florida might already have a valuable weapon that for ages has been sucking up carbon and keeping the planet cool: mangrove wetlands in the Everglades.
To figure out just how valuable, scientists crunched some numbers to assign a price tag to Everglades National Park’s mangroves. It turned out way bigger than anyone thought.
For about 360,000 acres of mangrove wetlands, the cash value totaled between $2 billion and $3.4 billion, or nearly seven times the amount Miami Beach plans to spend on new pumps to keep its streets dry.