3 days ago
I have never seen a value placed on America’s beaches but it is certainly in the many billions of dollars. An incredible amount of hotel development is linked to beaches. So too are many other businesses. That said, you don’t just need beaches to keep the tourists coming. You need clean beaches. Incidents in recent weeks demonstrate how vulnerable beaches—and the businesses dependent on them—can be to forces out of their control. The first example is the beaches of Northern Ohio. In recent weeks a monster bloom of algae has closed beaches and sickened some. The algae, as in past years, is fed by nitrogen and phosphorus-rich runoff from the farmlands in Ohio and Indiana. Scientists say the algae this year ranks with some of the worst Lake Erie has seen. You can bet it is helping to keep tourists away—not only from the beaches but from hotels as well.