NOAA Report Informs Florida’s “Blue Economy” Strategies

The Takeaway: Study team recommends connecting ocean economy leaders and cultivating businesses and employees in “high return on investment” fields.

Declining water quality, and damage to built and natural resources, threatens Florida’s “blue economy,” which depends upon vibrant, healthy coasts and ocean waters. To strengthen this economic sector, the Florida Ocean Alliance produced the Strategic Policy Plan for Florida’s Oceans and Coasts. This study and policy plan made use of the NOAA Report on the U.S. Marine Economy to compare Florida’s blue economy to that of other states.

The study team also analyzed data from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify the state’s blue economy strengths, such as beaches and coral reefs, and the stressors that could affect these assets.

With insights gained from these data sets, the team recommended high-priority strategies and actions to ensure that coastal and ocean leaders stay connected through a public-private partnership. The team also recommended strengthening ocean and coastal sectors that yield a high return on investment. Strategies include identifying “high-return” industry skill sets and encouraging skilled workers to stay in Florida. The state also is using the Ocean Alliance study as a pre-coronavirus baseline to understand the virus’ short-term impacts and Florida’s long-term recovery.

The Digital Coast features additional marine economy tools, trainings, and other resources. (2021)

More Information: Fortifying Florida’s Blue Economy

Partners: Florida Ocean Alliance, NOAA