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Story map: Our dynamic marine economy

June 8, 2020

America's marine economy is an entrepreneurial engine at the forefront of an expanding ocean frontier.

Cover for NOAA story map entitled Our dynamic marine economy.

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.

Projected global growth of the marine economy by 2030.
Chart showing the projected global growth of the marine economy by 2030. (OECD 2016)

 

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.
Watch video with text explaining that just marine economy activities are now counted, not all of the activities within the sector they are in. In manufacturing. for instance, just manufacturing related to the ocean economy is counted. This is a major change, leading to the first comprehensive assessment of the U.,S. marine economy.
Watch video with text explaining that just marine economic activities are now counted, not all of the activivities withing the sector they are in. In manufacturing, for instance, just manufacturing related to the ocean economy is counted. This is a major change, leading to the first comprehensive assessment of the U.S. marine economy.  (NOAA)
The marine economy is highly diverse.
The U.S. marine economy is highly diverse, including fisheries, tourism, and marine transportation just to name a few of the 10 sectors. (NOAA)
Millions of marine economic jobs (2018).
Chart showing millions of U.S. marine economy jobs (2018), with the largest being coastal hotels and restaurants at 463,000 in 2018. (NOAA)

 

Billions of dollars in marine production (2018).
Infographic showing production in 2018 of major sectors such as agriculture and utilities, with the marine economy being the largest at $617 billion. (NOAA)
Measuring marine production (2018).
Pie chart showing marine economic production by sector, with the largest being tourism and recreation at 37 percent in 2018 Measuring marine production. (NOAA)
Production growth of selected ocean sectors (2017-2018).
Chart showing U.S. production growth of selected ocean sectors, with the largest being shipbuilding at 36 percent between 2017 and 2018. (NOAA)
Six industries to watch in the marine economy — marine pharmaceuticals, aquaculture, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), geographic information technology (GIS), renewable energy and smart technology.
Animated GIF showing six growing industries in the U.S. marine economy — marine pharmaceuticals, aquaculture, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), geographic information technology (GIS), renewable energy and smart technology. (NOAA)

 

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.
Watch video showing major NOAA contributions to the marine economy in four key areas: marine transportation; seafood production; tourism and recreation; and coastal resilience. (NOAA)
This is an exciting time to look to the sea, and NOAA is on the front lines. Quote from Benjamin Friedman, Deputy Under Secretary for Operations, NOAA.
Quote from Benjamin Friedman, NOAA Deputy Under Secretary for Operations, highlighting how NOAA has a 50-year track record of success in supporting the marine economy and that the use of new data, technology and science now provides the most accurate picture yet of America's marine economy. (NOAA).

 

To view the original NOAA story map, please see this version on the ESRI websiteoffsite link.