Coastwide
via NOAA

USA - Marine Economy Continues to Power American Prosperity, Despite 2020 Downturn

Experts from NOAA and BEA described 10 sectors representing businesses dependent on the nation’s ocean, coasts and Great Lakes between the years 2014 and 2020.

America’s marine economy contributed about $361 billion of the nation’s gross domestic product in 2020. That is according to the most current results of the annual Marine Economy Satellite Account released today by two Department of Commerce agencies, NOAA and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

These numbers are from the first year of the coronavirus pandemic and represent a 5.8%, or $23 billion, reduction in real terms (adjusted for inflation) from 2019, outpacing the general economy’s decline of 3.4%.

“President Biden infused infrastructure funding into this sector precisely because of the marine economy’s immense value and potential for strengthening our nation,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., White House Office of Science and Technology Policy deputy director for climate and environment. “The health of the ocean economy depends on the health of the ocean. President Biden has asked us to include natural capital in our evaluation of the ocean’s contribution to the economy, and to take actions to combat the climate crisis, conserve our ocean and protect our coastal communities.”

“From shipping and maritime commerce to travel and tourism, the health of the marine economy touches the lives of every American,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “Supporting the maritime economy while also addressing the climate crisis is an essential and existential component of the Commerce Department’s work to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity.”

“Our oceans and Great Lakes are essential to America’s overall economy, as it is nearly impossible to go a day without eating, wearing or using items that come from or through our ports,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “These economic data are essential for understanding how the marine economy influences coastal communities and the American economy as a whole.”

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