US report highlights importance of coastal activity

European governments and maritime interests will find relevance in an American report released last week which shows that ocean resources and coastal communities are vital to the overall economy, yet climate change poses a major threat.

The results of the first independent report on the ocean and the US economy, released by the National Ocean Economic Program (NOEP) during Capitol Hill Ocean Week, shows that in 2007, four in five Americans lived in coastal states, generating 83% of the nation’s economic output, and contributing $11.4 trillion to the national gross domestic product (GDP). The report highlights the enormous overall value of the ocean and the nation’s coasts, and the critical role these areas play in America’s economic health and well being. The report also shows that these areas, which have been hit hard by the recession, are also under considerable future risk due to the effects of climate change, ocean acidification, and sea level rise.‘Our nation’s economic recovery and stability depends on how we deal with the issue of climate change and what we do to protect valuable natural assets that serve to support the people and communities that live along our ocean and coastal areas as well as the entire nation’, said Dr. Judith T. Kildow, director of the NOEP.

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