Archive for economy

Wildlife refuges are good for economy

Our national wildlife refuges are important to the economy, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Study has shown again this year, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. Because of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge alone (a goody), $23.6 million was generated, along with 346 jobs. Florida has many more national wildlife refuges than just that one, so it’s apparent that conserving land makes economic sense. As the article points out, though, refuges also just enrich our lives aside from the money factor.

You can find the whole report Banking on Nature 2006: The Economic Benefits to Local Communities of National Wildlife Refuge Visitation here.

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Florida state parks contribute big bucks and jobs to economy

Every year, I think, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection reminds everyone how nature-based recreation is important to our state’s economy. Yesterday, the DEP said Florida’s state parks contributed more than $936M to local communities, creating 18,700 jobs.

That’s just the state parks. That doesn’t include national parks, or state or national forests, or national wildlife refuges, or other natural lands.

It’s important to frequently look at how nature tourism contributes to the economy, because if you don’t, then you get people saying, “Oh, it’s just a few people out there looking at birds — how does that help anybody?”

Something interesting to me about this year’s news from the DEP is the list of top-generating state parks. In the past, if I’m not mistaken, it’s always been John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo. Now, the list looks like this (taken from the DEP news release):

St. Andrews State Park in Panama City Beach: $43M

Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin: $42M

John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo: $38.M

Lovers Key State Park in Fort Myers Beach: $37.8M

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne: $35.5M

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Study: Biscayne National Park good for the economy

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