The American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) recently released a pair of articles on the economic case for beach management and nourishment programs. While difficult even for experienced economists to quantify due to their distributed and inherently intertwined nature, the economic benefits of healthy beaches are undeniably significant according to the ASBPA. Estimating the magnitude and distribution of these benefits is essential for giving stakeholders a voice in the management process and for figuring out who should contribute to the funding of beach stewardship.
One interesting figure in these reports suggests that every $1 spent by a beach visitor ripples through the local economy generating approximately $8 in the larger community. The multiplier climbs to $320 when considering impacts in the greater (national) economy. Beach-related expenditures account for just one of the economic drivers provided by beaches. Given these figures, it’s not hard to imagine the costs of maintaining healthy beaches are worth the investment.
Read the articles for more details:
- Expenditures, direct and indirect
- Property values
- The intangibles
- The bottom line: There are many ways beaches contribute to the economy — ways not always easy for us to quantify, but ways that are very valuable to the community and country nonetheless.
- Fairly apportioning the cost of coastal management
- Identifying beach users who contribute to the coastal economy
- Justifying the (often considerable) investment in sound coastal management
- Seeking a fair funding mechanism for coastal protection
- Valuing a natural resource too often taken for granted
- The bottom line: Knowing how beaches contribute to the economy is essential to maintaining and managing them to the benefit of all who use them, rely on them and love them.