Economic Valuation of Estuary Habitat, Florida Gulf Coast. USA 2023


Okaloosa County, FL and Choctawhatchee Bay Estuary Program.

The Choctawhatchee Bay Estuary Program (CBEP) hired Crane Associates to complete an Economic Valuation the Choctawhatchee Bay Estuary, located in the Florida panhandle.  The Bay plays an important part in the economic, quality of life, history, and culture of Okaloosa and Walton Counties.  CBEP needed to know the benefits and cost of restoring and maintaining this estuary as a healthy and productive ecosystem.  The study was structured on a nationally recognized framework using definitions of “Ocean Economy” and “Coastal Economy” as established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).   The work involved extensive primary data collection on economic activities within 21NAICS sectors in the two-county region.  The analysis used a Computable General Equilibrium Input-Output Model (ReDYNE) to determine the economic contribution that the waterbody provides.  The results showed that the Choctawhatchee Bay Estuary supports 28,236 jobs and generates $817 million in household wages annually and without the Bay these jobs and income would be lost.   Okaloosa County, FL and Choctawhatchee Bay Estuary Program.

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