Proceedings Summer 2016
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Program
Planning and Integration, "The Ocean and Coast Economy," 2015.
World Bank Country gross domestic product data available at http://data.world-
NOAA, "The Oceans and Coasts — A Driver for Inland Economic Activity," 2015,
available at http://noaa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/?appid=639339405df9
Economics: National Ocean Watch information is available at https://coast.noaa.
NOAA Office for Coastal Management, "NOAA Report on the U.S. Ocean and Great
Lakes Economy," 2015, available at http://coast.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/publications/
Elementum News Desk, "The Real Cost Of The West Coast Port Strike Pt. 1," 2015,
available at http://news.elementum.com/the-real-cost-of-the-west-coast-port-
Dean Runyan Associates, California Air Traffic Analysis, accessed November 22,
2015 at www.deanrunyan.com/CAAirTraffic/AirTraffic.html.
Eastern Research Group, Inc., for the NOAA Office for Coastal Management, "The
National Significance of California's Ocean Economy," 2015, available at https://
The ocean economy includes the activities in the states adjacent to the Great Lakes.
It is important to note that this sector also includes offshore sand and gravel min-
ing, accounting for all of this sector's activity in some regions.
companies that supply hotels with everything from artwork
to water coolers. As many procurement companies feature
nationwide distribution centers, this supports inland econo-
mies by creating jobs for people living near a center, and
some goods that the hotel industry needs are niche goods
that come from companies that are based inland.
Ports provide entry and exit points for the inland U.S. econ-
omy to receive foreign goods and ship goods internationally.
In 2012, the estimated value of foreign imports from the rest
of the country through California ports totaled $331 bil-
lion, and the value of state foreign exports was $99.2 billion.
Some imported products, such as car parts or chemicals for
plastic production, support manufacturing jobs and allow
for the production of goods that can then become exports
themselves. Finished goods that the U.S. imports support
Commodity-level imports and exports are another way to
link the ocean and inland economies. Electronics ($60.4 bil-
lion), motorized vehicles ($50.8 billion), and textiles and
leather ($49 billion) were the top three commodities exported
through California ports. The top three commodity imports
were waste and scrap ($15.8 billion), machinery ($11.6 bil-
lion), and other agricultural products ($9.2 billion). These
statistics also demonstrate how California's ports support
key U.S. industries.
The coastal economy is large and contributes significantly
to the national economy. As a subset of the coastal econ-
omy, the ocean economy is therefore also important to the
Although we know a lot about the ocean economy, there
is a lot more to learn that will enhance the data we have
currently. Through the Ocean Economy Satellite Account,
NOAA and the Bureau of Economic Analysis hope to
develop a more complete understanding, in numbers, of the
connections between the national economy and the ocean
About the authors:
Ms. Tracy Rouleau is NOAA's deputy chief economist in the Office of Pro-
gram Planning and Integration, which is the nexus where social science is
powered, coordinated, and catalyzed across NOAA.
Mr. Jeffery Adkins is an economist with I.M. Systems Group, supporting
NOAA. Jeff is the lead economist for NOAA's Economics: National Ocean
Watch data that provides time-series data for six economic sectors that
depend upon the oceans and Great Lakes.
Ms. Valerie Were is a social scientist with I.M. Systems Group, supporting
NOAA in the Office of Program Planning and Integration. She works on a
variety of projects that integrate social science across NOAA's line offices.
For more information:
Statistics courtesy of the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration.
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storm warnings, and climate monitoring to
fisheries management, coastal restoration,
and supporting marine commerce, NOAA's
products and services support economic
vitality and affect more than one-third of
America's gross domestic product.
NOA A's dedicated scientists use cutting-
edge research and high-tech instrumentation
to provide citizens, planners, emergency
managers, and other decision makers with
the reliable information they need when
they need it.
For more information, visit www.noaa.gov.