Washington, D.C. — Today National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, or NOAA, Administrator Jane Lubchenco joined business leaders and experts at the Center for American Progress for the launch of the CAP Ocean Program’s Blue Economy Initiative and the release of the issue brief, “Foundations of a Blue Economy,” presenting a blueprint for this new project aimed at defining and quantifying the economic impact of healthy oceans.
At the event Lubchenco said, “Healthy oceans drive vibrant coastal communities, strong businesses, and robust economies. Hats off to the Center for American Progress for shining a spotlight on the value of our oceans and coasts—places where over half the population lives."
The Blue Economy Initiative will focus on four ocean and coastal industries in various stages of understanding and development—sustainable fisheries, renewable energy, tourism and recreation, and coastal restoration—underscoring the key role healthy oceans play in creating American jobs and enhancing prosperity in coastal regions.
The following are products the Center for American Progress’s Ocean Program plans to develop to help make the economic case for sustainable fishery management:
- A report detailing the complexities of the fish stock assessment process, which will provide fishermen and other stakeholders with some perspective on how stock assessments are carried out and why these stakeholders’ anecdotal perceptions of fish populations may not reflect the actual health of the species
- An expansion of the recommendations laid out in the Center for American Progress Report on Gulf Coast recovery “Beyond Recovery” by examining the potential economic and community development associated with creating a coastal restoration economy, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico.
- An original report analyzing out the investment requirements and potential economic return for developing a cost-effective, environmentally responsible offshore wind industry in the United States.
The United States can derive great financial benefit from these natural resources without compromising their beauty, health, or vitality. As we pursue our investigations into the four segments of the ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes economy detailed in this brief, we are confident our findings will help prove that the best way to create a robust coastal economy is to start with clean, healthy oceans.