Investing in the restoration of coastal ecosystems creates jobs and, according to a new study from the Center for American Progress.
National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration economists figure that million invested in coastal restoration creates 17.1 jobs on average, according to the report from the Washington D.C.-based liberal think tank. Investment in oil and gas development on the coast, however, creates an average of 5.2 jobs.
Additionally, each taxpayer dollar spent restoring wetlands returns more than in net benefits including buffering storm surges; safeguarding coastal homes and businesses; creating nursery habitats for commercial and recreational important fish species; and, restoring open space and wildlife that support recreation, tourism, and the culture ofcoastal communities.
To the determine the value of the benefits, the Center for American Progress and Oxfam America collaborated with a research team at Abt Associates to identify and analyze three coastal restoration sites that NOAA funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
These are an oyster reef and sea grass restoration project in the Seaside Bays of Virginia, an oyster reef project in Mobile Bay, and salt marsh restoration in San Francisco Bay, California.
In two of the sites the San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds and Virginia Seaside Bays the ecosystem restoration showed highly positive returns in ecosystem-service-related benefits relative to each project s cost at levels well above the economic output and job creation stimulated by project spending. The third site, an experimental oyster reef recovery project in Mobile Bay, did not produce sufficient data to soundly estimate the value of the ecosystem services.
According to the report, the reasons for the lack of data including the scarcity of long-term research into the form of restoration as well as the , which set back oyster recruitment in the project s artificial reef structures.
In deeply personal responses, dozens of former inmates, family members of current inmates and volunteers with prison ministries have given detailed accounts of how their experiences with the facility continue to affect their lives.
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