Friday, April 20, 2012

Putting a Value on Chesapeake Bay

Outdoor recreation in coastal areas of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia drives an economy valued at close to $4 billion per year and supports tens of thousands of jobs, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership disclosed in a report released today.

“The Economics Associated with Natural Areas in the Delmarva Peninsula” analyzes the importance of outdoor recreation, as well as agriculture, commercial fishing and ecosystem services, on the Delmarva Peninsula and related to the Chesapeake Bay.

Highlights from the report include the following statistics:
  • Outdoor recreationists such as boaters, hunters, anglers and cyclists annually spend $3.9 billion enjoying the Delmarva’s natural areas and support more than 27,900 jobs.
  • Hunting, fishing and wildlife watching on the Delmarva draw 1.6 million participants who spend more than $1.5 billion annually.
  • Recreational boating contributes more than $1.3 billion in annual sales and supports 11,000-plus jobs that pay wages of more than $400 million. The region boasts 127,000 registered boats.
  • Intact natural areas can increase adjacent home values by approximately 20 percent.
  • The value of commercial fishing in the Chesapeake Bay as a whole is more than $300 million annually.
If I'm reading this right, and it's a little confusing, the Delmarva Peninsula alone, but including the coastline outside the Chesapeake Bay, is what is being evaluated here,  Then they go and compare it to the commercial fishing value of the whole Chesapeake Bay (but not the coast).  Despite the apples to oranges comparison here then, the recreational value of the resource greatly outmatches the commercial value.

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