As demands on the environment and associated ecosystem services increase, the need for a more integrated approach to managing the exploitation of these natural resources also increases. This is particularly true for the alternative types of water bodies such as a sea, river and/or a lake. The purpose of this paper is to explore the preferences of residents in the Republic of Ireland for a number of ecosystem services provided by lush water bodies. In particular the paper examines whether, and how, preferences for the same ecosystem services differ when the public is asked to consider the alternative water body types (sea, river and lake). This is relevant as the ecosystem services' economic benefits are not necessarily uniform across water bodies, a factor that has not been explored in detail previously. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.