Thanks to ongoing research, we know how much America’s coast contributes to the national economy. But what does that mean on a local level?
The national economic impact of beaches is clear – in tourism and taxes, in revenues and returns on investment. Consider these facts:
On a local level, however, the benefits of beaches to the larger non-beach community is equally clear – in similar and different ways from the national picture:
Another example might be to compare two communities that started out more or less the same in terms of the building blocks of a community economy – except one of them is on the coast while the other is inland. Chances are 50 years down the road the coastal community will have grown far larger than the inland one… because the coast is a potent economic engine.
There are myriad reasons to protect and preserve our coasts – the environmental benefits, protecting habitat and species, acting as a strong barrier to winds, waves and rising tides. But the economic incentive for a healthy coastline cannot be overstated and certainly cannot be overlooked.
Investing in the coast pays off, and the non-coast partners who benefit from a healthy coastline should never be allowed to forget that.
SOURCE: * Houston, James, 2013. “The economic value of beaches — a 2013 update.” Shore & Beach, 81(1), 3-11.