New study demonstrates wild sea otters could help generate millions of dollars for local communities

Wednesday, June 7, 2023 - 15:33 in Earth & Climate

A new study led by researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Middlebury Institute of International Studies' Center for the Blue Economy finds that sea otters attract recreational visitors to Elkhorn Slough, generating more than $3 million in revenues to local communities annually. Published in the Journal of Coastal and Ocean Economics, the study assessed the economic value provided by recreational visitors traveling to Elkhorn Slough, a central California estuary where people can enjoy kayaking, hiking, fishing, and other recreational activities. Researchers revealed that the opportunity to view sea otters is a major reason for people appreciating their visit to the slough, and this correlated with the financial value visitors placed on protecting the area and sea otters.

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