A twenty year old referee report

  • July 2, 2024
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I didn’t revise the paper for this journal but here is what I wanted to say:

Reviewer #1: 1. This is an important contribution. However, I feel it would be much more support to the cause of maintenance of the waterways if there was an equally valid assessment of the commercial fishing and towing industry that depend on the AIWW for their livelihood.

Response: Agreed. Someone should write this paper. 

2. The authors need to better explain the difference between their derived value of $97 that each boater is willing to pay from the 47% of boaters that are willing to pay up to $100.

Response: 47% of respondents said that they would pay $100. The willingness to pay estimate is $97 which arises because the highest bid amount is so close to 50% … [OK: nothing snarky here] 

3. I believe that there must be a difference in value for each foot of depth based upon the draft and length of the waterway. This is not explored in the text or noted in the table of survey results.

Report: The model first estimates how trips will change with different depths in a Tobit and then uses the predicted trips as a covariate in the willingness to pay model. Each additional trip leads to an increase in WTP of $1.31. We’ve added a table to break the $1.31 down into different depths. [Again, nothing snarky … good comment]

4. I did not see any indication of consideration of users outside of North Carolina such as the boaters that annually migrate south each Winter and north each summer through North Carolina.

Response: That is because our sample frame and survey only covered boaters licensed in North Carolina.

5. Two pages of references for a ten page paper seems out of balance.

Response: Good point but should we have more references or less?

6. The statements made “Exogenous factors such as high energy prices, water pollution, beach erosion and damage caused by coastal storms has limited waterway access and use. The future impacts of climate change and sea level rise will also have negative impacts on marine recreational boating.” are very sweeping without support in the document and in some cases very misleading if not incorrect. These should be revised by the author.

Response: How would that statement be “very misleading if correct”?