Tourism and Fishing Jobs
Environmental Restoration = Economic Restoration
The RESTORE Act, by investing in the coast’s wetlands, will protect jobs in fishing and tourism. The Mississippi River Delta system and the coastal regions of the Gulf of Mexico sustain vital economic systems. A 2008 report by the National Marine Fisheries Service found that eastern Florida and the Gulf region’s commercial fishing industry supported more than 200,000 jobs in 2008.1
The Gulf provides roughly 40% of the nation’s seafood from the lower 48 states, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.2
Commercial fisheries in Eastern Florida and the Gulf generated more than $10.5 billion in sales, and more than $5.6 billion in income.3
Rebuilding the coast can also increase revenues from fishing. For example, one study estimates that restoring a 1-acre oyster reef sanctuary that lasts 50 years could result in $40,000 in additional value from commercial finfish and crustacean fisheries because reefs provide nurseries for various fish species.4
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Survey on Recreation and the Environment estimates that the annual economic value of recreational activities like beach visitation, recreational fishing, SCUBA diving and snorkeling for the Gulf shore is as much as $34 billion.5
For every $1 invested in restoring the Everglades, $4 in economic value is created by enhancing activities like tourism and fishing, according to a 2011 study by Mather Economics.6 With the funding from the RESTORE Act, the same could hold true for the Gulf, providing a tourism boost across all five Gulf states.
- NMFS. Fisheries Economics of the United States 2008: Economics and Sociocultural Trends Series. (pp. 11, 121). http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st5/publication/fisheries_economics_2008.html. The commercial fishing industry is defined as the commercial harvest sector, seafood wholesalers and distributors, seafood processors and dealers, and seafood retailers.
- NMFS. Fisheries Economics of the United States 2008: Economics and Sociocultural Trends Series. (pp. 11, 121). http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st5/publication/fisheries_economics_2008.html.
- Restoring Oyster Reefs to Recover Ecosystem Services, Johnathan H. Grabowski and Charles H. Peterson in Ecosystem Engineers, 2007.
- Pendleton, Linwood H., 2009. “The Economic Value of Coastal and Estuary Recreation” in The Economic and Market Value of America’s Coasts and Estuaries. Edited by Linwood Pendleton, Coastal Ocean Values Press, Washington, DC (p. 135). Data based on NOAA’s 2000-2001 National Survey on Recreation and the Environment, and captures the value of beach visitation, recreational fishing, wildlife viewing, SCUBA diving, and snorkeling activities. $34 billion reflects the high end of values based on the range of values represented in the economic literature.