286 research outputs found

    Artificial reefs and marine protected areas: a study in willingness to pay to access Folkestone Marine Reserve, Barbados, West Indies

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    Artificial reefs in marine protected areas provide additional habitat for biodiversity viewing, and therefore may offer an innovative management solution for managing for coral reef recovery and resilience. Marine park user fees can generate revenue to help manage and maintain natural and artificial reefs. Using a stated preference survey, this study investigates the present consumer surplus associated with visitor use of a marine protected area in Barbados. Two hypothetical markets were presented to differentiate between respondents use values of either: (a) natural reefs within the marine reserve or (b) artificial reef habitat for recreational enhancement. Information was also collected on visitors‚Äô perceptions of artificial reefs, reef material preferences and reef conservation awareness. From a sample of 250 visitors on snorkel trips, we estimate a mean willingness to pay of US18.33(median‚ÄĒUS18.33 (median‚ÄĒUS15) for natural reef use and a mean value of US17.58(median‚ÄĒUS17.58 (median‚ÄĒUS12.50) for artificial reef use. The number of marine species viewed, age of respondent, familiarity with the Folkestone Marine Reserve and level of environmental concern were statistically significant in influencing willingness to pay. Regression analyses indicate visitors are willing to pay a significant amount to view marine life, especially turtles. Our results suggest that user fees could provide a considerable source of income to aid reef conservation in Barbados. In addition, the substantial use value reported for artificial reefs indicates a reef substitution policy may be supported by visitors to the Folkestone Marine Reserve. We discuss our findings and highlight directions for future research that include the need to collect data to establish visitors‚Äô non-use values to fund reef management

    Search for dark photons in Higgs boson production via vector boson fusion in proton-proton collisions at ‚ąös = 13 TeV

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    A search is presented for a Higgs boson that is produced via vector boson fusion and that decays to an undetected particle and an isolated photon. The search is performed by the CMS collaboration at the LHC, using a data set corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 130 fb‚ąí1, recorded at a center-of-mass energy of 13 TeV in 2016‚Äď2018. No significant excess of events above the expectation from the standard model background is found. The results are interpreted in the context of a theoretical model in which the undetected particle is a massless dark photon. An upper limit is set on the product of the cross section for production via vector boson fusion and the branching fraction for such a Higgs boson decay, as a function of the Higgs boson mass. For a Higgs boson mass of 125 GeV, assuming the standard model production rates, the observed (expected) 95% confidence level upper limit on the branching fraction is 3.5 (2.8)%. This is the first search for such decays in the vector boson fusion channel. Combination with a previous search for Higgs bosons produced in association with a Z boson results in an observed (expected) upper limit on the branching fraction of 2.9 (2.1)% at 95% confidence level

    Search for new particles in events with energetic jets and large missing transverse momentum in proton-proton collisions at root s=13 TeV