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Rapid Benefit Indicators (RBI) Approach

All photos by Rick McKinney. Image 1 is a person kayaking down the Woonasquatucket River, images 2 and 3 are the Woonasquatucket River. Process for Assessing Social Benefits of Ecological Restoration

The Rapid Benefit Indicator (RBI) approach is an easy-to-use process for assessing restoration sites using non-monetary benefit indicators. It 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 or funding organization, this simple yet powerful site analysis will allow you and your stakeholders to systematically and equitably incorporate social benefits in restoration decisions.

  • Applications

    The RBI allows users to quickly estimate and quantify benefits to people around an ecological restoration site. The new Spatial Analysis Toolset (ArcGIS toolbox) provides tools to compile these indicators for potential wetland restoration sites using ArcGIS and spatial datasets. The toolset can be used as an alternative to the spreadsheet-based checklist tool by using geospatial analysis to automate indicator estimation, which allows users to assess more sites in less time. The toolset can also be used in conjunction with the spreadsheet-based checklist tool, as both tools summarize results in a similar format.

    Examples of how the  RBI approach can be used for restoration projects:

    • Prioritize restoration sites and projects
    • Screen projects that may require further evaluation
    • Justify funding requests
    • Assess who may benefit the most from a project
    • Evaluate tradeoffs
    • Inform people about the benefits of restoration
    • Evaluate what a project has accomplished
    • Inform further planning
    • Inform a structured decision making process or monetary evaluation
  • Downloads
    Date Description
    01/04/2017 RBI Approach Tool, Manual, and Forms. This page provides the interactive tool with associated manual and an alternative to the interactive tool all in one location. Each component can also be accessed individually below:
    12/14/2017 RBI Approach Spatial Analysis Toolset and Manual. This page provides the toolset and associated manual in one location. The two can also be accessed separately below:
    • RBI Approach Spatial Analysis Toolset (ArcGIS toolbox). This toolset is intended to be used to analyze existing spatial information to produce metrics for the indicators developed in the RBI approach Guidebook. The RBI Spatial Analysis (.pyt) Toolbox uses ArcPy functionality within ArcGIS to run the spatial analysis. This tool can be used in place of the Checklist Tool and produces a similar formatted PDF report of results.
    • RBI Approach Spatial Analysis Toolset Manual. This Spatial Analysis Toolset Manual gives directions on the mechanics of the toolbox and its data requirements. The manual does not detail the reasoning behind the indicators and how to use results of the assessment; this information is found in the RBI Approach Guidebook.
    01/04/2017 RBI Approach Guidebook. The guidebook presents the RBI approach using an example application to wetland restoration. In this guide, each step of the RBI approach is introduced by an overview section that summarizes the step and explains how to apply it. Following the full walkthrough of each step, you will find “Step in Action” pages that 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.
    01/04/2017 RBI Approach Fact Sheet. This one-page document briefly describes the RBI approach and how it might be used.

    Disclaimer: Any mention of trade names, manufacturers, or products does not imply an endorsement by EPA. EPA and its employees do not endorse any commercial products, services, or enterprises.

Related EPA Resources

Technical Support

  • Contact us with questions or comments about the RBI Approach.