A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Harvesting Blue-Green Algae in Brown County, Wisconsin

Author

Abigail Becker

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This report provides a cost-benefit analysis of the removal of blue-green algae (BGA)from the waterways of Brown County. BGAis a common but toxic bacteriaprone to rapid and uncontrolled growth.Itcan be found in waters around the world,includingthose inBrown County. These algal bloomshave become increasingly frequent and sizeable in Brown County and pose threats to human and animalhealth, decrease property values, reduce tourism, and destroy local aquatic ecosystems. We estimate that an algaeremovalprogram would result between$7.4million(30percentremoval) and$43million (90percentremoval)in net social benefitsover 20 years.The netfiscalcostsrangefrom $5million (30percentremoval) to$2.3million (90percentremoval)for the county over 20 years.

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