Garden Earth’s ecosystems are very important to people and to all the animals and plants that depend on them. Some scientists and economists have tried to put a dollar value on some of these eco-services. For example, what is the value of clean water to New York City? In 1997, when the source of the drinking water was increasingly polluted, city officials had to decide how to clean up the water. They could build new water treatment plants, which cost about $6 billion or they could invest in cleaning up the source of their drinking water, the Catskill Mountains. By helping install new septic systems and paying landowners to plant trees and protect the streams on their property, New York City could get better water quality for less than one tenth of the cost of building new water treatment plants! A cleaner environment for less money?! That’s a no-brainer!
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- Georgia Performance Standards