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The Effects of Marine Debris on Beach Recreation and Regional Economies in Four Coastal Communities: A Regional Pilot Study

Jamie Holmes, MS, Abt Global; Eric English, PhD, Bear Peak Economics; Carolyn Wagner, MA, CW Research and Consulting


September 30, 2019

To better understand the relationship between coastal tourism economies and marine debris, Abt studied how the amount of marine debris on beaches can affect the behaviors of beachgoers and, as a result, the economies of coastal communities that depend on tourism. The study, conducted for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), evaluated two types of economic impacts on beach recreation that could result from the effects of either doubling or (near) eliminating marine debris:

  1. The loss or gain of recreational value to beach visitors.
  2. The economic impact from reduced or increased spending on visits to beaches on both coasts.