Ecological disturbances can impact several ecosystem services, including cultural services such as outdoor recreation opportunities. In Florida, one ecological disturbance that is negatively impacting recreation is the occurrence of harmful algae blooms. In recent work, Dr. Sergio Alvarez at UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management has assessed the impact that harmful algae blooms have on human wellbeing by using random utility models to estimate changes in the value of recreation in coastal ecosystems resulting from these blooms. The results indicate that harmful algae blooms, which reduced boating access between June and September 2018, may have resulted in losses of up to $3 million in Lee County alone.

Original Article

Alvarez, S., Lupi, F., Solís, D., Thomas, M. (2019). Valuing Provision Scenarios of Coastal Ecosystem Services: The Case of Boat Ramp Closures Due to Harmful Algae Blooms in Florida. Water, 11(6):1250. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061250