Imagine this, you're a fishing guide in Florida. You have a job that you love. You spend your days taking tourists a few miles off the coast for some of the best fishing experiences of their lives. Life has been good. But what would happen to your livelihood if the waters you fished became polluted? What if invasive species came and wreaked havoc on the natural wildlife population? Your career and the financial well-being of your family is based on the health and safety of your local marine ecosystem. This is just one way that National Marine Sanctuaries benefit local economies!
It is estimated that around $8 billion is generated each year in coastal and ocean dependent economies, where National Marine Sanctuaries are located. Industries like sustainable tourism and responsible recreation benefit from the healthy ecosystem that a national marine sanctuary provides.
When it comes to these ocean parks, there are many different ways that they can benefit a local economy both directly and indirectly. Tourism is one of the largest contributors. Millions of visitors come to these beaches, go diving and snorkeling, surf the waves, book fishing charters and visit local museums and restaurants when in the area. Of course, this is all dependent on a healthy National Marine Sanctuary that's worthy of a trip.
Another, less obvious way, that these marine treasures boost community moral by increasing the quality of life for people living in the surrounding homes and neighborhoods. Clean beaches and abundant wildlife in the area lead to a more desirable living situation for people that appreciate being in the outdoors.
It's safe to say that National Marine Sanctuaries create economic benefits that make them a desirable designation for each and every community that they are apart of. Watch the video that highlights a few people who've based their livelihoods on the health and benefits of their local National Marine Sanctuary. For more information and resources related to National Marine Sanctuaries and Monuments, head to Sanctuaries.NOAA.gov and marinesanctuary.org!