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What are Environmental Markets?

Environmental markets are a voluntary exchange of ecosystem goods and services by buyers and sellers. The sellers of supply in an environmental marketplace are the property owners who implement conservation practices that enhance ecosystem services. For example, by planting a riparian buffer, landowners can generate nutrient reductions that create credits. These credits can be eligible to be sold to buyers in a water quality market.

Buyers provide the established need and money that drives markets. For example, water quality markets will be driven by the demand for nitrogen and other nutrient reductions across the watershed. The businesses, institutions, and citizens demanding these reductions do so to comply with regulations like the Clean Water Act, to prepare for future regulations, or for strictly voluntary reasons.