Of free markets and coral restoration

Not many people would think coral reef restoration would be of much interest to business entrepreneurs. But as Laura Huggins of the group PERC notes, such interest does exist, and is especially needed in Florida: “In Florida alone, the coral reef-related economy generates $4 billion a year, yet despite their ecological and economic importance, the reefs are on the verge of collapse. Because the reefs are an open-access commons, no one has an incentive to steward the resource. A market for coral restoration is the solution, where users, such as scuba shop owners, pay aquaculture nurseries to transplant new corals into a damaged area. Property rights create incentives to protect resources that government regulations can never match.”

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About the Author: Craig Rucker

Craig Rucker is the executive director and co-founder of CFACT.