Another Benefit of Coastal Blue Carbon - JOBS

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Posted by: Steve Emmett-Mattox

Last month, Restore America’s Estuaries released Jobs & Dollars: BIG RETURNS from coastal habitat restoration.

Those of us engaged in coastal conservation are already aware of the tremendous ecological, economic, and ecosystem service benefits that healthy coasts and estuaries provide. And coastal managers and others following the wetlands carbon initiatives are aware of the interconnections between climate change, climate change impacts, and coastal wetlands restoration and protection.

Now, there is another reason to be excited about protecting and restoring the coastal habitat that we love so much - JOBS. A few facts from the report:

  • Restoring our coasts can create more than 30 jobs for each million dollars invested. That’s more than twice as many jobs as the oil and gas and road construction industries combined.
  • During 2010, restoration efforts for the Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes, and Everglades contributed $427 million in economic output and supported more than 3,200 jobs.
  • The $72-million Central Wetlands Unit restoration project in New Orleans is on track to create 280 direct jobs and 400 indirect and induced jobs, for a total of 680 jobs over the project’s life.
  • The restoration of Florida’s Everglades is a 4:1 return on investment.

Restoration improves coastal habitats and helps local economies by creating three different types of jobs: direct, indirect, and induced.

  • Direct Jobs: People using their skills to restore damaged wetlands, shellfish beds, coral reefs and fish passages.
  • Indirect Jobs: Jobs in industries that supply materials for restoration projects, such as lumber, concrete and nursery plants.
  • Induced Jobs: Jobs in businesses that provide local goods and services, such as clothing and food, to people working on restoration projects.

As we all work to promote coastal blue carbon as an incentive for coastal and marine ecosystem conservation, we now have a new resource in our toolkit.

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