Opponents of EPA’s pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay -– from industry lobbyists to some short-sighted county governments -– frequently grumble that building stormwater control systems and upgrading sewage plants is just too expensive.
But what about the economic value of nature? And how much will this value diminish if we fail to follow EPA pollution limits and state cleanup plans for the Bay, also called the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint?
Well, a report for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership by Southwick Associates, an economics research firm, spells out some specifics about the impressive value of nature on the Delmarva Peninsula.
Among the findings:
• Camping, biking, and trail-based recreation on the Delmarva Peninsula is worth $1.07 billion a year and generates over 11,000 jobs throughout the region.
• Hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching engaged more than 1.6 million people on the peninsula in 2011, of which 570,000 fished, 184,000 hunted, and nearly 1.3 million enjoyed seeing and photographing wildlife.
• The region’s wetlands provide upwards of $14 billion in ecological benefits, including enhancement of tourism and fisheries.
• Recreational boating contributed more than $1.3 billion in sales last year.
To learn more, read the whole report here.
By Tom Pelton
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
(CBF photo at top)