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Valuing the Recreation Benefits of Natural Springs in Florida

Food and Resource Economics Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32606, USA
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Water 2018, 10(10), 1379; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101379
Received: 19 August 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 30 September 2018 / Published: 2 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Water Resources Management and Governance)
Karst springs are scenic natural resources in karst areas of Florida, currently under threat from increasing groundwater withdrawal from the Floridan Aquifer and pollution resulting from a variety of sources. This paper estimates the current recreation benefits from visiting springs using the travel cost method and elicits residents’ willingness to contribute for springs restoration using the contingent valuation method. It further compares the performance of count data models correcting for endogenous stratification and truncation, and finds that the annual consumer surplus per person per trip is between $20 and $43, and the annual total recreational value for the four springs studied is about $25 million. Furthermore, visitors are willing to contribute $12 to $14 per person per trip for springs restoration without reducing trip demand. View Full-Text
Keywords: travel cost method (TCM); contingent valuation (CV); consumer surplus (CS); willingness to pay (WTP); endogenous stratification; springs travel cost method (TCM); contingent valuation (CV); consumer surplus (CS); willingness to pay (WTP); endogenous stratification; springs
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Wu, Q.; Bi, X.; Grogan, K.A.; Borisova, T. Valuing the Recreation Benefits of Natural Springs in Florida. Water 2018, 10, 1379.

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