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$476 Billion: U.S. Marine Economy Continues Upward Trend

Port of Oakland. Credit: Sheila Fitzgerald /

$476 Billion: U.S. Marine Economy Continues Upward Trend

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 451
June 6, 2024

The American marine economy showed continued strength in 2022, contributing a significant $476 billion in economic impact and supporting 2.4 million jobs, according to the latest Marine Economy Satellite Account (MESA) statistics released by NOAA and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), both Department of Commerce agencies.

The marine sector amounted to nearly 2% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), generating $777 billion in sales. MESA’s insights underscore the essential role the marine sector plays in the nation’s economy.

“A strong, sustainable marine economy helps build a greater, more Climate-Ready Nation,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said. “The Biden-Harris Administration and the Department of Commerce are committed to enhancing the marine economy, and helping communities and ecosystems grow and thrive.”

Key contributors to GDP included tourism and recreation ($163 billion), national defense and public administration ($149 billion), and offshore minerals ($62 billion). Sectors showing the most growth in sales for 2022 were ship and boat building (up 14.6%), coastal tourism and recreation (up 8.1%), and marine transportation and warehousing (up 7%).

In a first, MESA’s report incorporated data on wind energy and alternative power generation, offering deeper insight into the offshore wind industry’s significance to the nation’s economy. Sales from wind farm construction totaled $161 million, with alternative power generation contributing $10 million.

“This report underscores the critical need to do whatever we can to support and bolster the marine sector,” said NOAA’s National Ocean Service Assistant Administrator, Nicole LeBoeuf. “Our nation’s marine economy influences many aspects of our economic landscape and our daily lives, affecting regions far beyond our coasts.”

NOAA Chief Economist Monica Grasso, Ph.D., concluded with a call for investment in restoration and sustainability. “A thriving, resilient marine economy uplifts our communities and drives our nation forward,” she said.

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