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The Economic Importance of Our Coasts

The economic importance of our coasts is staggering...
  • Coastal watershed jobs top 60 million.
  • Ports handle over $700 billion in merchandise annually.
  • Cruise industry and passengers account for $12 billion in annual expenditures.
  • Nationwide, retail expenditures on recreational boating exceed $30 billion.
  • Tourism and recreation are two of the nation’s fastest-growing business sectors.
  • More than 37 million people and 19 million homes have been added to coastal areas during the last three decades, driving up real estate values and requiring ever greater support services.
  • On average, 3,600 people per day are moving to coastal counties, suggesting that by 2015, coastal populations will reach a total of 165 million. With another 180 million people visiting the coast each year, the pressure on our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes will intensify, as will the need for effective management.