Great Lakes Sand Dunes & Beach Ecosystem Service Values: Aesthetic/Amenity - Recreation Public Lands

Land Use:  Great Lakes Sand Dunes & Beaches - Public Lands
Ecosystem Service: Aesthetic/Amenity-Recreation
Regional Value Estimate: $62,171 per acre per year
Confidence Level (in estimated value): Moderate

How was value determined:

  1. The are only three counties in the West Michigan policy region with Great Lakes Sand Dunes and Beaches: Allegan, Muskegon and Ottawa counties.
  2. The county-wide values for public Great Lakes sand dunes and beaches aesthetic/amenity-recreation were transferred from two peer-reviewed studies which determined per user values on high and low quality beaches in Southern New England and throughout the United States (Kline and Swallow 1998Bergstrom and Cordell 1991).
  3. The average value was then converted to an annual per acre value by multiplying it with an annual user per acre figure for each of the 3 Great Lakes coastal counties in the West Michigan policy region (Greaney 2007aRicco 2007Allegan County 2007Stevenson 2007Hiddema 2007Wood 2007Greaney 2007b).
  4. To get a regional value, an average value of the county-level data was taken.

Value estimate limitations:

  1. Travel costs and contingent valuation data are for non-West Michigan beach users. There were no studies valuing Great Lakes sand dunes and beaches; the study data relied on here were from the Southern New England and other parts of the United States.
  2. County-level data vary widely because of beach accessibility and inconsistencies in keeping track of annual beach users. Ottawa County had more complete data on annual usage numbers for Grand Haven and Holland state parks. The user numbers recorded for beaches in Allegan and Muskegon counties are low.
  3. Beach values vary widely based on local attitudes, availability of amenities, and beach quality. We did not take into consideration these variables because there was insufficient information from other studies that could be transferred to West Michigan for this ecosystem service and/or land use.








Estimated Great Lakes Sand Dunes & Beaches Aesthetic/Amenity-Recreation - Public Lands Values