science in ACTION
www. e pa. gov/resea rc h
The Rapid Benefit Indicators Approach:
A Process for Assessing the Social Benefits of Ecological Restoration
The Rapid Benefit Indicators
(RBI) Approach is an easy-to-
use process for assessing
restoration sites using non-
monetary benefit indicators.
The RBI uses readily-available
data to estimate and quantify
benefits to people around an
ecological restoration site.
Whether you are a federal,
state, or local manager, or a
member of an interest group
orfunding organization, this
simple yet powerful site
analysis will make restoration
decisions clearer for you and
for stakeholders.
The RBI Approach can be used to:
S Prioritize restoration sites
and projects
^ Screen projects that may
require further evaluation
S Justify funding requests
S Assess who may benefit most
from a project
S Evaluate tradeoffs
^ Inform people about the
benefits of restoration
S Evaluate what a project has
j Inform further planning
^ Inform a structured decision-
making process or monetary
The Assessment Process
Through the five step process,
you will:
l. Describe the decision context,
including objectives and scope,
who is affected, and what their
needs are
2.Select and describe relevant
ecosystem services and benefits,
and record general
characteristics of each
3. Compile benefit indicators using
five questions:
	Are people able to benefit?
	Who benefits?
	How do benefits compare
across sites?
	What are the social equity
	How reliable are benefits
over time?
4.Summarize the indicators
5. Use the results in decision-
Assessing the Benefits of
Wetland Restoration:
A Rapid Benefit Indicators
Approach for Decision Makers
This report presents the RBI
approach and its application to
wetland restoration. It provides
step-by-step instructions for
performing assessments.
Each step is introduced by a
summary of the step and how to
apply it. You will then find pages
showing the "Step in Action"
to demonstrate how the step is
applied in a real-world scenario,
using an example application to
freshwater wetland restoration in
the Woonasquatucket River
Watershed in Rhode Island, USA.
The companion spreadsheet
checklist tool provides a way to
record the information and
compare sites. It includes prompts
to guide the process, and
automatically summarizes
the information.
Available at: www.epa.gov/water-research/rapid-benefit-indicators-rbi-approach
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Research and Development
CONTACT: Marisa Mazzotta, ORD, NHEERL
Atlantic Ecology Division, Narragansett, Rl
401-782-3026 / mazzotta.marisa@epa.gov