The National Ocean Economic Program just released a study on the relationship between the ocean and the U.S. economy. Hawai'i's ocean-related activities accounted for 10.7 percent of the state's gross domestic product, or $5.4 billion, based on 2004 activities.
The report looked at six sectors linked to the ocean, including marine transportation, tourism and recreation, commercial fishing and other living marine resources, marine construction, ship and boat building and mineral extraction. It found these businesses employed 98,493 people, with the majority of these working in tourism and recreation. Total wages paid were $2.61 billion.
4 out of 5 US residents live in coastal states that generated 83 percent of the country's GDP in 2007. Hawaii led all states in numbers of people employed in the ocean economic sectors (15%).
Judith Kildow, director of the program, stated in a Honolulu Advertiser article, "'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.'" The group released the report to coincide with Capitol Hill Ocean Week.
We lucky folks who live in Hawaii Kai understand the importance and beauty of our ocean. Let's work to protect and preserve the treasure that we have.
Barbara Abe, Realtor
(source: Honolulu Advertiser)