Eco-Restoration Firms See Growing Profits

Eco-restoration is now a lucrative market for many private companies. One example is Biohabitats, a 20-year-old ecosystem restoration company, which makes a good profit replanting eel grass lost to pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

Ecosystem restoration was just a niche market in the 80s, but it has bloomed in the past five years. Keith Bowers, chairman of the Society for Ecological Restoration International, says: "From an ecological restoration standpoint, there's something on the order of tens of billions of dollars in the pipeline just in this country."Some projects are quite visible. Chesapeake Bay is a multi-year, $19 billion cleanup project. Another large project is the Everglades wetlands restoration in Florida, with $8 billion appropriated. Billions more are being spent in the U.S. on restoring estuaries, watersheds, rivers, deltas, and fish species such as .

Funding for such restoration projects far exceeds global funding for basic conservation. Because of that, future restoration may one day be a huge industry vital to the planet's well-being, some say. :: The Society for Ecological Restoration [by Justin Thomas]

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