Fellows in the News

Southern California beaches with storm drain diversion systems attract millions more people annually, a new study in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin shows.

The study looked at whether improving the environmental quality of coastal areas through policy intervention had an effect on the way people use coastal areas. Researchers found a direct correlation between increased attendance and the installation of storm drain diversions at 26 beaches in Santa Monica Bay and Malibu.

“Cost has many municipalities opposed to installing storm drain diversion systems, but the data showed these investments pay off,” said Linwood Pendleton, co-author and director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. “Beyond their effectiveness as a tool for managing pollution in coastal waters, storm drain diversions increased attendance at individual beaches in the region by 350,000 to 860,000 annually.”

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