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Open AccessArticle

Valuing Provision Scenarios of Coastal Ecosystem Services: The Case of Boat Ramp Closures Due to Harmful Algae Blooms in Florida

1
Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32819, USA
2
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
3
College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL 32307, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Authorship ordered alphabetically, no senior authorship implied.
Water 2019, 11(6), 1250; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061250
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 9 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Resources Economics and Ecosystem Valuation)
Ecosystem service flows may change or disappear temporarily or permanently as a result of environmental changes or ecological disturbances. In coastal areas, ecological disturbances caused by toxin-producing harmful algae blooms can impact flows of ecosystem services, particularly provisioning (e.g., seafood harvesting) and cultural services (e.g., recreation). This study uses a random utility model of recreational boating choices to simulate changes in the value of cultural ecosystem services provided by recreation in coastal ecosystems resulting from prolonged ecological disturbances caused by harmful algae blooms. The empirical application relies on observed trips to 35 alternative boat access ramps in Lee County, an important marine access destination in southwest Florida. Results indicate that reduced boating access from harmful algae blooms may have resulted in losses of $3 million for the 2018 blooms, which lasted from the end of June to the end of September. View Full-Text
Keywords: harmful algae blooms; cyanobacteria; recreational boating; ecosystem services; random utility model; economic analysis harmful algae blooms; cyanobacteria; recreational boating; ecosystem services; random utility model; economic analysis
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Alvarez, S.; Lupi, F.; Solís, D.; Thomas, M. Valuing Provision Scenarios of Coastal Ecosystem Services: The Case of Boat Ramp Closures Due to Harmful Algae Blooms in Florida. Water 2019, 11, 1250.

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