Department or Program

Environmental Studies


The Androscoggin and Kennebec Rivers in Maine both have a history of water quality problems, one of which is the large number of dams that obstruct fish passage upstream to spawning grounds. In 1999, the Edwards Dam at Augusta was successfully removed and led to an increase in anadromous fish in that section of the Kennebec River. Historically, anadromous fish have been very important to Maine’s commercial fishing industry and also have served as a dependable food source for river residents. In order to determine river residents’ willingness to pay values on anadromous fish restoration projects, specifically for the threatened Alewife population, a Kennebec River Survey was designed. However, there were a large number of protest responses to the survey.

This paper studies the effect of different payment vehicles on protest responses using two versions of the Kennebec River Survey. The initial Kennebec River Survey data is analyzed using the probit model to test for explanatory variables that may affect the likelihood of protest responses. Previous studies have theorized that government-affiliated payment vehicles may increase the likelihood of protest responses. In order to test this theory, two versions of the Kennebec River Survey, with different payment vehicles (a government-affiliated payment vehicle and a donation-based payment vehicle), were designed and sent to Androscoggin Watershed residents. The findings of this paper have the potential to influence future Contingent Valuation survey designs, particularly concerning the design of the willingness to pay question.

Level of Access

Restricted: Embargoed [Bates Community After Expiration]

First Advisor

Lynn Lewis

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2014

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file


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