Journal of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences

Document Type



A contingent valuation survey was conducted to estimate the aggregate willingness to pay for reducing pollutants in a popular, highly visited creek in Indiana. The Little Sugar Creek Watershed is located in the southwestern portion of the state, runs through two state parks, and is frequently used for various recreational purposes including canoeing, fishing, hiking, and camping. As such, it has a direct value for recreational as well as non-recreational purposes that are directly related to the water quality of the creek. The survey was useful in gathering information to estimate a tobit regression model to determine the valuation of an improvement of water quality by 50 percent. Reduction of pollutants and sediment load in the creek would result in a benefit to the public in the form of improved water quality for many purposes. The results of this survey would be useful in formulating public policy in terms of a potential tax on local residents to help pay for creek cleanup.