Job creation through coastal restoration
Investing in coastal restoration will create jobs and grow the economy
Many business sectors depend on the health of the Mississippi River Delta, including oil and gas, navigation and fisheries. But Louisiana’s land loss crisis is putting these jobs and industries at risk. It also jeopardizes the billions of dollars the region contributes to the U.S. economy each year through tourism, energy, shipping, and seafood.
Specifically, Louisiana supports the national economy by providing:
- More crude oil production than any other single state
- Five of the nation’s 15 largest shipping ports by cargo volume
- 30 percent of the commercial fishing landings (of the lower 48 states)
- $9.3 billion per year in tourism
- $1.8 billion annual impact from recreational fishing
Studies show that investments in Louisiana coastal restoration will create thousands of jobs in the booming water management industry – which includes coastal restoration, coastal protection, and urban water management. With nearly 44,000 jobs, water management is the second largest industry driver across the entire Louisiana Coastal Zone. This industry provides dependable, well-paying jobs and is poised to continue to grow with incoming funds from the BP oil spill settlement.
Investing in coastal restoration will not only create jobs, but it will also help protect existing businesses and industries. Coastal wetlands, barrier islands and other forms of natural infrastructure help protect cities and infrastructure from the damaging effects of storm surge and flooding.
Studies show restoration benefits
EDF and our partners have sponsored several studies by independent researchers showing the economic benefits of coastal restoration. These studies also show the risks to sectors like wildlife tourism if we neglect to advance needed coastal restoration projects.
- Growth in Water Management Sector in Coastal Louisiana
- Restoring the Gulf Coast, New Markets for Existing Firms
- Wildlife Tourism and the Gulf Coast Economy
- Restoring Gulf Oyster Reefs: Opportunities for Innovation
- Geosynthetics: Coastal Management Applications in the Gulf of Mexico
- Job Creation from Gulf Coast Wetlands Restoration
Building a restoration economy
Investments in coastal restoration will spur job creation and economic growth in Louisiana and beyond. A single restoration project can engage businesses all along the supply chain specializing in design, engineering, construction, equipment manufacturing, and transport.
In southeast Louisiana, the coastal restoration industry is growing faster than any other major industry, driving economy expansion and even eclipsing the oil and gas industry in creating new jobs, according to a recent study.
Reports from two independent economic research firms show that investing in typical coastal restoration projects will provide a myriad of economic benefits that could accrue throughout the entire value chain of companies involved in coastal restoration, artificial oyster reef creation, and geosynthetics used in coastal management.
Not only does coastal restoration create jobs, it also protects existing industries, by both restoring vital habitat and building protective coastal wetlands. In turn, this restoration benefits both Louisiana and the entire nation that depends on the Mississippi River Delta for energy, fisheries and navigation.
Investing in coastal restoration in the Mississippi River Delta and Gulf Coast provides quadruple economic returns, by protecting jobs in key industries and creating new jobs through the restoration economy.
Engaging businesses support
The business community is vital to ensuring the protection and continued success of Gulf Coast economies, communities and ecosystems. Congress could not have passed the RESTORE Act without widespread support from Gulf businesses. To learn more, visit our companion site Our Coast Our Economy.