Often, when I pick up the beach, beach goers make remarks as to how trashy the beaches are. I have even had a few people say they will not return to that beach. A study by the NOAA, National Oceanic Atmospheric Adminstration shows that marine debris effects the economy.
The study done in Orange County, California found that residents lose millions of dollars each year from people dirty local beaches. Going to a cleaner beach from both local and non-local people costs money in terms of lost revenue and it may cost more to reach that beach.
The study concluded:
- $32 Million increase in revenue if marine debris were reduced by 25% at beaches in and near Orange County just in the summer. That equates to $14 per person, or $32 million for all 2.28 million Orange County adults.
- 100 percent litter reduction at all 31 beaches would save $65 per person, or $148 million for all 2.28 million Orange County adults.
- Marine Debris influences their decision to go to the beach.
- No marine debris on the beach and good water quality are the two top decisions to go to which beach.
- Avoiding littered beaches costs Orange County residents millions of dollars each year.
- Reducing marine debris on beaches can prevent financial loss and provide economic benefits to residents.
Data was collected on 31 beaches, including a few sites in Los Angeles County and San Diego County. At each of the 31 beaches, they collected information debris with food wrappers were the most abundant. Residents were also surveyed. The mail survey data, beach characteristics, and travel costs were then incorporated in the model, and we were able to estimate how various changes to marine debris levels could influence economic losses to this area.