Prior to completing this activity, review the following:

• The Tragedy of the Commons (Links to an external site.)

• Valuing ecosystem services: Capturing the true value of nature’s capital (Links to an

external site.)

• What Is the Tragedy of the Commons? (Links to an external site.)

• Midwestern farmers working to reverse Gulf dead zone (Links to an external site.)

• Tainted wells tied to farm runoff; High nitrate levels in several towns are making water

unsafe for babies, pregnant women (Links to an external site.)

• Roundup weedkiller ‘substantial factor’ in farmer’s cancer, US jury finds (Links to an

external site.)

• Industrial and sustainable farming (Links to an external site.)

The tragedy of the commons concept illustrates what can happen when people use a limited

resource, which can result in “what is good for the individual is not necessarily good for the


• Describe an example of the tragedy of the commons in your area. While the video used

provided the example of fish being pulled from a pond, what examples do you see in

your community?

• Identify the natural cycle or system that is being impacted and any threats to the

sustainability of a specific resource.

• Additionally, identify the people or organization that is responsible for this tragedy of

the commons.

• Provide one potential solution that could keep this tragedy from degrading the well-

being of your neighbors or community.

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