A new study says Connecticut’s coastline is worth at least $7 billion to the state’s economy. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.
Being a coastal state is an important part of Connecticut’s identity. It’s also an important part of the economy, and now researchers at UConn have put a number on that. Using data from 2010, they examined the impact of seven different sectors including shipbuilding, commercial fishing, tourism and transportation. In a year when the state’s total output was $233 billion, the study found that at least $7 billion of that was attributable to coastal activities. In addition they generated almost 40,000 jobs. Lead researcher Dr Robert Pomeroy says this study, funded by national marine research body Sea Grant is just a start.
“We were unable to specifically get at the value of recreational boating, recreational fishing and aquaculture. And as we move forward and do some more of these analyses, we want to become more specific in identifying these sectors. And we imagine that the value is going to increase quite significantly from the seven billion dollars that we had in 2010 once these sectors are included.”
The effects weren’t evenly distributed along the coast. New London County accounted for almost 50 percent of the total economic impact, partly because of the value of shipbuilding at Groton’s Electric Boat submarine yard.