Florida’s economy relies heavily on coastal and ocean-related resources, supporting employment, businesses, and tourism. However, because of declining water quality and damages to the built and natural environment, Florida’s blue economy is at risk. To develop a path forward in securing Florida’s blue economy, the Florida legislature awarded a grant to Florida’s Ocean Alliance to create the Strategic Policy Plan for Florida’s Oceans and Coasts.
To help understand the current state of Florida’s blue economy, the team analyzed a variety of data sets, including data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The details within this information helped the team identify strengths within Florida’s blue economy, such as tourism related to beaches and coral reefs, and how those assets might be affected by stressors. The team also compared Florida’s blue economy to that of other states using the NOAA Report on the U.S. Ocean and Great Lakes Economy: Regional and State Profiles.
The team recognizes that Florida’s coastal and ocean economy is an important component in Florida’s total economy. After analyzing all the information, the team developed two strategies to help strengthen Florida’s blue economy: create a framework that ensures connected coastal and ocean leadership, and develop workforces for ocean and coastal sectors that yield high return on investment. Each strategy includes several important actions. In addition, Florida is using these numbers as a pre-coronavirus baseline to understand the short-term impacts and long-term recovery. (2020)