Economics of the Intracoastal Waterway in Broward County, Florida

David Letson

Abstract


Managing use of the intracoastal waterway (lCW) in Broward County is, in part, an economic problem. Without a hierarchy of ICW uses, policy makers cannot know what to do when conflicts arise. Two of the more visible ICW conflicts have pitted boaters against manatees, and port authorities intent on dredging against their federal permitting authorities. If natural resources like the ICW were available for everyone in any quantity, there would be no economic problem. We could all have what we want, without having to choose. Since we must choose, we should consider economic choices. Difficulties arise, however, since natural resource values are sometimes hard to measure and omitted from consideration. This paper considers who uses the ICW, why we have user conflicts, and how economics might contribute to resolving these conflicts.

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