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Forty-five percent of our nation's Gross Domestic Product is generated in the Coastal Shoreline Counties along the oceans and Great Lakes. How is this economic production tied to healthy coasts?


Coastal Economy

In 2011, 45 percent of our nation's gross domestic product, or GDP, was generated in the Coastal Shoreline Counties along the oceans and Great Lakes. Given the concentration of economic production, population, and infrastructure along the coast, we must work to maintain the integrity of those natural resources that make these areas highly-desirable to visit, live, and work.

Recreational Fishing

From hoisting halibut from the depths of Alaska's frigid waters to fly fishing for tarpon in the shallows of the Florida Keys, our nation's coastal waters offer a large diversity of habitats and species for those seeking a recreational fishing adventure. This bounty supports a popular outdoor activity for over 12 million Americans annually.

Commercial Fishing

The international trade in coastal and marine fisheries contributes $70 billion annually to our nation's economy. Understanding and managing the considerable pressures - both human and natural - on these valuable resources will ensure that the country's long-standing tradition of commercial fishing in our coastal communities is sustained.


Our nation's ports, often located in the heart of sensitive coastal ecosystems, are an essential driver of the U.S. economy. Understanding and managing the interdependencies among safe maritime transportation, efficient port operations, and coastal stewardship is critical to our nation's prosperity and security.

Energy Production

More than one-half of the U.S. energy production occurs in the Nation’s thirty coastal and Great Lakes states, and roughly one quarter of total U.S. crude oil production occurs in state and federal offshore waters. Energy production is critical to our economy and quality of life, and provides significant employment opportunities. The need for energy production must be balanced with the risks and consequences of activities taking place in sensitive coastal and ocean ecosystems.