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Coastal Highlights
Coastal Highlights

MAKING WAVES, June/July 1998

Did You Know...
  • One of every six jobs in the U.S. is marine-related and one-third of the nation's gross domestic product is produced in coastal areas through fishing, transportation, recreation. All of these industries are dependent on healthy waters and marine habitats.
  • Coastal states earn 85 percent of all the tourism dollars in this country and beaches are the leading tourist destination.
  • About 180 million people visit U.S. coastlines each year; beaches are the leading tourist destination.
  • The ocean is responsible for the world's climate and weather patterns. These weather patterns determine the prices of fruit, vegetables and grains.
  • The U.S. has more that 95,000 mile of coastline and more than 3.4 million square miles of ocean within its exclusive economic zone. More than 70 percent of the planet's surface is covered by water.
  • More than half of our nation's population lives within miles of our shores--even though those shores account for only 11 percent of the nation's land area.
  • In recent years, 40 percent of new commercial development and 46 percent of new residential development happened near the coast.
  • An acre of coastal waters or wetlands can produce more food than the best mid-western farm land.
  • Wetlands naturally filter and cleanse the water flowing from rivers and streams into the ocean. Estuaries- where the ocean tide meets a river current-depend on wetlands to maintain water quality.

Source: International Year of the Ocean/NOAA


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