The Incredible Value of America's Coral Reefs | American Blue Economy Podcast

July 21, 2021

They're beautiful & contribute $375B to the world's economy!

On our 4th episode of the American Blue Economy Podcast, we explore coral reefs. Coral reefs contribute to the US economy through areas such as dive tourism (June’s episode), support to fisheries (August), and contributions to coastal resilience (November).  By one estimate, coral reefs provide economic goods and services worth about $375 billion each year worldwide. NOAA suggests that coral reefs in southeast Florida, for example,  have an asset value of $8.5 billion, generating $4.4 billion in local sales, $2 billion in local income, and 70,400 full and part-time jobs. Additionally, in the United States, about half of all federally managed fisheries depend on coral reefs. NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service estimates the annual commercial and recreational value of U.S. fisheries from coral reefs to be over $200 million. But their future is challenged by a variety of factors, including bleaching, disease, and ocean warming. We will describe these, and our panel of guests will show us how partnerships, science, and technology will keep our coral reefs viable through the 21st century. These brilliant panel members include:

Dr. Erica Towle, Lynker Technologies, National Coral Reef Monitoring Program Coordinator. Dr. Joshua Feingold, Professor, Department of Marine & Environmental Sciences, Nova Southeastern University: Welcome Joshua! Mike Goldberg, Co-Founder I.Care, Owner, Key Dives Jim Ritterhoff, Executive Director, Force Blue Kevin O’Brien, President at Papahānaumokuākea Marine Debris Project, Inc, and Dr. Michael Crosby, President & CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquariu

Show Transcription
This transcription was generated by a computer. Please excuse any errors.
Adm. Tim Gallaudet

Rear Admiral Gallaudet, PhD, USN (ret) is the CEO of Ocean STL Consulting. From 2017-2021, he served as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere / Deputy NOAA Administrator, and from 2017-2019 he also served as the Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere / NOAA Administrator. As Acting Administrator, he led the agency comprised of 20,000 federal employees and contractors managing the nation’s fisheries, coastal resources and waterways, weather satellites, weather services, and environmental research, overseeing a $6B annual budget and daily operations of 18 environmental satellites, 16 oceanographic ships, 9 aircraft, 450 boats, and 400 technical divers, 6 supercomputers, over a dozen laboratories, and several hundred field sites across the country. As the Deputy Administrator, he led NOAA’s Blue Economy activities that advance marine transportation, sustainable seafood, ocean exploration and mapping, marine tourism and recreation, and coastal resilience. Prior to NOAA, Rear Admiral Gallaudet served for 32 years in the US Navy, completing his career as the Oceanographer of the Navy. He has a Bachelor’s degree from the US Naval Academy, and Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, all in oceanography.