Story map: Our dynamic marine economy
America's marine economy is an entrepreneurial engine at the forefront of an expanding ocean frontier.
The first comprehensive assessment of the U.S. marine economy reveals a dynamic picture. Developed by NOAA and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, new ocean economy statistics provide the most accurate picture yet of America's marine economy.
With activities dependent on the ocean, coasts and Great Lakes, NOAA is uniquely positioned to support the growth of the marine economy. This story map tracks the new statistics and includes a brief look at the enormous scope of NOAA's agency-wide contributions.
In 2018, the marine economy contributed $373 billion to GDP and supported 2.3 million jobs, growing at a pace that outstripped U.S. economic growth as a whole. Globally, growth is projected to reach $3 trillion by 2030.
The marine economy includes activity that:
- Takes place in marine areas such as cargo shipping;
- Uses essential inputs from marine areas such as seafood processing;
- Produces goods and services primarily for marine areas such as navigational equipment; and
- Occurs because of proximity to coasts such as vacations and rental property.
NOAA is uniquely positioned to grow the marine economy.
NOAA spurs new growth, new job sources and important leverage of major economic drivers. Following is a sampling of how NOAA support is key to the viability of the marine economy:
- NOAA's role in protecting the health of ecosystems is vital to the economic well-being of fisheries, tourism and other critical sectors. Protecting coral reefs, for example, is crucial to coastal resilience and preserving the enormous potential of life-saving drugs.
- NOAA tools are essential to enabling safe navigation, protecting the environment and ensuring America's economic competitiveness. U.S. seaports employ 41,000 workers, move $1.8 trillion of cargo annually, and directly and indirectly support more than 30 million jobs across sectors.
- NOAA's investment in transformative technologies — including unmanned systems, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and 'omics, a revolutionary approach to unlocking the genetic secrets of marine life — optimize economic contributions.
- NOAA's prioritization of enhanced environmental intelligence is establishing important new observing methods and accelerating developments in weather modeling through NOAA's flagship Earth Prediction Innovation Center, leading to more accurate and reliable weather forecast models that will support activities across the entire marine economy.
- NOAA's multi-sector partnerships with the weather enterprise and ocean observing communities help shape NOAA initiatives and speed the transition of research to operations, significantly bolstering safety, efficiency and industry response to consumer needs.