Opened in late 2015, the Schoodic Woods Campground provides greater visitor access to Schoodic Peninsula, increasing the value of ecosystem services (economic benefits to humans provided by ecosystems) in terms of recreational experiences. However, effects to other ecosystem services, such as bird and plant diversity, are unclear. The economic impacts of new development on public lands is a critical question for assessing future economic growth in Maine, as the recreation industry grows and new public lands develop.
A team from the University of Maine (Drs. Kate Ruskin and Aaron Strong) and Schoodic Institute (Dr. Nicholas Fisichelli) seeks to quantify the value of ecosystem services provided by the Schoodic District of Acadia National Park, estimate the changes in value that have resulted from the development of the Schoodic Woods campground, and provide recommendations for how future development in the area can maximize economic benefits.
Two University of Maine undergraduate researchers are carrying out field work to quantify ecosystem services and effects. Our results may inform the trajectory of development on Schoodic Peninsula, providing an opportunity for strategic growth that optimizes the value of both market and non-market ecosystem services for local stakeholders such as business owners.