Many, if not most, Florida residents understand the value of the state’s waterways as an environmental and economic resource.
A new report from the Biden administration helps illustrate that.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released a study spotlighting the economic impact of outdoor recreation, which includes hunting, fishing, camping, four-wheeling, and other activities.
Throughout America overall in 2021, outdoor recreation was an $862 billion industry that created 4.5 million jobs. As such, it grabbed a bigger share of the nation’s GDP than farming, mining (including oil and gas production), or computer manufacturing.
For its part, Florida generated about 5 percent of the overall economic value — $42 billion — and roughly 10 percent of the jobs in the industry. Outdoor rec is responsible for about 3.3 percent of the state’s GDP, according to Keep Florida Fishing, or KFF, an advocacy group affiliated with the American Sportfishing Association and which analyzed the federal report.
KFF also noted that Florida ranked second among all states in economic value generated by the outdoor recreation industry, and that it expects the future to be even brighter.
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KFF, which advocates for cleaner waters and better access to them to benefit anglers, trumpeted this because boating and fishing were the leading parts of Florida’s outdoor rec economy, contributing $3.9 billion in economic output.
“The economic impact of our industry is also an indicator of how important it is for Americans to have access to clean waters and abundant fisheries. KFF will continue our work in both Tallahassee and at the federal level to ensure that outdoor participation continues to grow,” the group said in a statement.
“The growth our industry saw in 2021 indicates that outdoor recreation remains a top priority for all Americans in terms of time and dollars spent. Outdoor recreation will continue to have a huge impact on Florida even in the face of overall economic uncertainty. KFF is committed to promoting participation in outdoor recreation and getting more Americans outside and on the water.”
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