Ocean Planning Is the Key to Unlock America’s New Blue Economy

Planning for the Ocean is not only smart, but a necessity. In South FL, you can never forget how dependent we are on the Ocean. We are as connected to the sea as anything; from the seafood we eat, to the cargo ships we watch sail into port as we lay next to the water.

By Shiva Polefka | Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The thin coastal fringe of the United States comprises a tiny proportion of the nation’s total land area but supports a huge share of its business. Coastal and Great Lakes counties alone—just 10 percent of U.S. land area, excluding Alaska—generated more than 42 percent of the country’s gross domestic product in 2011. That share could become even larger if emerging technologies and enterprises take root and flourish. East Coast ports will soon need to handle substantially increased cargo volumes once the newly widened Panama Canal is open to behemoth post-Panamax container ships, allowing them to cross from Asian manufacturing hubs into the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. Meanwhile, the Northeastern Seaboard is just a few months away from launching America’s commercial offshore wind industry atop a base of wind resources that could ultimately yield gigawatts of emissions-free clean energy. And just as the science on coastal ecosystems has matured to the point at which it is evident the country cannot afford to lose another acre of these precious ecological assets, pressure to develop coastal counties continues to increase due to population growth that is outpacing the rest of the country…


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