New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
Edited by Fred J. Hitzhusen
Chapter 10: An Economic Analysis of Lower Great Miami River Segment Improvements
Radha Ayalasomayajula, P. Wilner Jeanty, and Fred J. Hitzhusen INTRODUCTION The Great Miami River Watershed is located in the southwest region of Ohio. The Great Miami River is 155 miles in length, and its watershed includes all or part of 15 counties with the headwaters in Hardin and Auglaize counties and the mouth in the Ohio River in Hamilton County. Interstates 70 and 75, two of the nation’s longest Interstate highway systems, intersect just north of Dayton. Dayton, with a population of 190 000, is the largest city within the watershed. Other major cities within the watershed exceeding 50 000 populations include Springﬁeld, Hamilton, and Middletown. There are 2360 miles of rivers and streams in the Great Miami River Watershed. Water quality in and recreational access to the watershed’s rivers and streams have been concerns over the last 20 years. Evaluation of ﬁsh and macroinvertebrate community performance in streams and rivers draining the Great and Little Miami River Basins indicates that most streams meet basic aquatic-life-use criteria set by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for warm water habitat. According to the Ohio EPA, the Lower Great Miami and Whitewater River Watershed is impaired primarily by nutrient enrichment and habitat alterations. Over 80 percent of the river miles are impaired by nutrient enrichment and 40 percent by other habitat alterations. Such severe river and stream impairments commonly result from human development, inadequate agricultural practices and land use changes in the surrounding area. Gravel mining is included in this category,...
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