Date of Award

Summer 1988

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

Eric Anderson

Committee Member

David Feigenbaum

Committee Member

Carvel Blair

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.O35D48


The contingent valuation method, recommended by the U. S. Water Resources Council, was used to estimate the economic value of sport fishing and diving at the Chesapeake Light Tower Artificial Reef. The study is based on a random sample of 170 anglers and 33 divers who participated in telephone, personell and mail-in surveys in 1985 and 1986.

The average user value (consumer surplus) was $21.13, $110,75, and $13.30 for head boat anglers, private boat anglers and sport divers, respectively, who claimed to have used the reef in 1985. Variation in consumer surplus was statistically affected by trip expense, distance from home, size of the party, occupation, club membership and interview techniques.

A short personal intercept form supplemented by a longer telephone questionnaire proved to be the most efficient and cost-effective means of collecting user information.

The estimated total economic benefit of $296,583 outweighed the cost of operation and maintainence by 2:1 margin. Projected age and income were used to forecast future benefits for a 15-year planning period. Future costs and benefits were converted to present values using three preselected discount rates. Projected benefits were greater than projected costs for all discount rates.


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