This report, actually a series of 5 papers, first examines why market mechanisms are being widely proposed by policy makers to address environmental issues, gives some background on their history, and speculates on their future. The other papers provide an overview of what is really happening "on the ground," discussing how well the promise of these new markets has been met in reality. In Lessons Learned from SO2 Allowance Trading, Robert Stavins gives an update and assessment of the SO2 trading program. In The Evolving Western Water Markets, Richard Howitt and Kristiana Hansen analyze the evolving water markets in the western U.S. In The Future of Wetlands Mitigation Banking, Leonard Shabman and Paul Scodari look at the wetlands mitigation banking program. In Crunch Time for Water Quality Trading, Dennis King evaluates the state and potential for water quality trading.