In a new study, researchers estimate algal blooms at two Ohio lakes cost Ohio homeowners $152 million in lost property value over six years. Sale prices for homes within one-third of a mile of a lake fell 11 to 17 percent during that time, while prices for lake-adjacent homes fell more than 22 percent. A number of additional factors that influence property values were included in the analysis to ensure that the observed losses in property values were directly attributable to changes in water quality. For example, seasonal trends in the housing market, differences in structural characteristics across homes and spatially varying provision of public services, such as school quality, were all controlled for in the analysis. Meanwhile, a related study suggests that algae is driving anglers away from Lake Erie, causing fishing license sales to drop at least 10 percent every time a bloom reaches a moderate level of health risk. Based on those numbers, a computer model projects that a severe, summer-long bloom would cause up to $5.6 million in lost fishing revenue and associated expenditures by anglers.
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