by Janet MacFall
In the most recent edition of its annual “Testing the Waters” report on beach water quality, the National Resources Defense Council cites an eye-popping piece of data: For local governments and businesses along our nation’s shores, a typical swimming day is worth about $35 in revenue for each visitor.
American vacationers, who make upward of 900 million trips to coastal areas each year, spend about $44 billion in these areas. If you think clean water is only a liberal cause, think again. The NRDC’s report was a timely reminder that economic growth is one of the key benefits we receive when we use regulations to protect the environment, especially our water.
MacFall is an associate professor and director of the Center for Environmental Studies at Elon University. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.