Danielle Graham

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 2014


Coral reefs are vital to the Southeast Florida economy, but tracking their value has proven difficult and expensive in the past. To help remedy this situation, The Nature Conservancy sought to develop an annual assessment tool to track indicators of coral reef based spending. This indicator analysis is meant to be repeated annually and used to track trends and find patterns in five categories of data: fishing, diving, tourism, state park attendance, and boating. This type of analysis can be used in conjunction with larger, more expensive benchmark studies to provide accurate totals and allow adjustments to the data which keep the final numbers relevant for a larger period of time. For 2012, overall reef related spending contributed $2.76 billion dollars to the Florida economy. Tourism was the largest contributor, followed by fishing. This yearly indicator analysis can be repeated to both look at past data and see how the area has evolved, or it could be used to track future changes in a timelier manner. The goal of this analysis is to continue gathering and tracking indicators to be able to inform managers and politicians of the ever-evolving state of the coral reef economy. By noticing changes as they are happening, we can better react to changes as they occur rather than lagging behind and only noticing damage when it is too late to act. Ideally, we will be able to track problems as they are developing and act to remedy the situation by using this assessment tool. The Southeast Florida coral reef system is vital to our current economy, and therefore protecting what resources we have is of the utmost importance.


Department: MAF

MPS Track: MCO

Location: The Nature Conservancy, (Big Pine Key, FL)

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