Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 2014


This report provides an overview of the key coastal economic sectors found within the southeast United States, including the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic and U.S. Caribbean. These regions share key coastal economic areas of interest, including oil and gas production, maritime transportation, tourism, and fisheries and aquaculture. The study found that southeast region holds over 30% of the nation’s population and employment opportunities, as well as generating roughly 30% of the nation’s GDP and personal income. Oil production is the most valuable natural resource-based activity in the southeast generating $9.1 billion. Waterborne commerce and tourism are other major economic sectors. Over 52.2% of the nation’s trade tonnage passed through southeast ports, and these ports were responsible for shipping over $3.8 trillion in exports and imports. Tourism generated $206.7 billion in tourism and travel related expenditures (23.3% of the nation’s total), $31.5 billion in taxes and supported 3 million jobs. Fisheries and aquaculture were found to play a significant role in providing food, income, employment and recreational opportunities. Local commercial fleets produced 18.4% of the nation’s landings and dockside revenues. Additionally, the southeast region was responsible for 45% of the nation’s aquaculture production sales and held 52% of the nation’s aquaculture farms. The report concludes by highlighting the importance and heterogeneity of these sectors within the southeast region and the importance of considering tradeoffs when developing ecosystem based management plans.


Department: MAF

MPS Track: CZM

Location: NOAA - SEFSC (Miami, FL)

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