From today's Star News, a trash/pollution issue that needs a solution.
Masonboro Island is an 8.4 mile long barrier island between the Intracoastal Waterway (to the west) and the Atlantic Ocean (to the east) that lies between Wrightsville Beach (to the north) and Carolina Beach (to the south). The island is completely undeveloped and is protected as part of the North Carolina Estuarine Research Reserve. You can only reach the island by boat (or if you're daring, by swimming or paddling across Masonboro Inlet or Carolina Beach Inlet).
It is a beautiful place. Check out some pics here. It is home to several endangered bird species and is a nesting beach for loggerhead and green marine turtles. Most often there are very few people there, and you can have miles of perfect beach all to yourself. Camping on Masonboro is great, especially in the late spring or early fall when the mosquitos aren't so bad. However, during the summer holidays (Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day), the island is hugely popular with partying boaters. If you've been there during these times, you know... the bay adjacent to Masonboro looks like a boat parking lot. Lately, the parties have been huge and people have been leaving loads of trash on the island.
Questions related to recent class topics:
What are the basic economics behind this environmental problem?
What are some potential solutions? Pros and cons of these?
What categories of value might we need to measure in order to understand the economic value of Masonboro Island?