America’s Atlantic Ocean Economy—Too Important to Jeopardize

Seaside Heights, New Jersey

Credit: Flickr

Authored with NRDC's Kelsey Kane-Ritsch

Opening the U.S. Atlantic to oil and gas exploration and development threatens vitally important segments of the U.S. economy as well as the livelihoods of many of the millions of Americans who live along the East Coast.

From Maine’s vibrant harbors to Florida’s beautiful beaches, coastal communities rely on the ocean for food, jobs, and recreation. In 2016, the U.S. Atlantic Ocean economy contributed more than $94 billion to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Nearly 65 percent of that came from tourism, recreation, and fishing and seafood industries. These businesses, which together employ roughly 1.1 million people, largely depend on a clean ocean, clean beaches, and abundant fish and wildlife.

America’s Atlantic Ocean Economy catalogues the many economic benefits a healthy ocean brings to coastal communities—benefits that would be at risk from oil and gas exploration and development.

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