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Commerce and Economic Value

Coasts and oceans affect people in many ways. The coast provides a place to live and recreate. Oceans provide food for our growing population, a transit way for our commerce, and increasingly new sources of energy. Coasts and oceans have direct and indirect effects on our physical, emotional, and personal wellbeing. Coasts and oceans also support jobs and provide the economic foundation of many economies.

Understanding the economic value and impacts associated with coasts and oceans is critical to our management of these important resources. Unfortunately, we have a poor track record of quantifying and monitoring the economic value and the jobs and wages supported by coastal and ocean activities. Historically, our economic attention has focused on fisheries, energy and development. Increasingly, though, we are finding that even great economic value lies in the “production” of other coastal and ocean activities, including recreation, aesthetic values, and the contribution of coasts and oceans to the functioning of the planets ecosystems. When taken as whole, the economic value of our coasts and oceans is astonishing - we consistently underinvest in the protection and management of these resources.

Working with the Coastal Ocean Values Center at the Ocean Foundation, we provide links to the most up-to-date and scientifically rigorous sources of data and information about the commercial and non-commercial value of coastal and ocean resources. Check back often as we constantly update and expand our resources and our on-line library.

Last updated October 19 2011