People Post Pictures of Clear-Water Lakes More Than Turbid Lakes

Roberta Kwok, writing for Conservation Magazine:



People were more likely to visit bigger lakes with clearer water, the researchers report in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. For every additional meter of water clarity, visitors drove nearly an hour longer to get to and from the lake, spending about $22 more in travel costs. Lakes with boat ramps also were more popular.

The study authors estimate that improving a lake’s clarity by one meter would bump up the average number of visits by 1,389 per year. The overall number of lake visits in a region might not increase, since the number of people travelling to the murkier lakes could drop. But if people opted to visit a lake rather than, say, a pool, the total number of visits could rise.

Recreational demand for clean water: evidence from geotagged photographs by visitors to lakes By Bonnie L Keeler, Spencer A Wood, Stephen Polasky, Catherine Kling, Christopher T Filstrup, and John A Downing