Public expenditures on outdoor recreation in the coastal areas of the USA




Meade, Norman F. and Vernon R Leeworthy

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U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Strategic Assessment Branch, Ocean Assessments Division, Office of Oceanography and Marine Assessment, National Ocean Service


A nationwide study of public expenditures on outdoor recreation in coastal areas has been performed by the Strategic Assessment Branch (SAB) of the Ocean Assessments Division, Office of Oceanography and Marine Assessment, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The data collection program and analysis discussed below are part of NOAA's efforts to estimate the economic value of the recreation services provided by coastal and oceanic areas throughout the USA. Knowledge of the recreation value of the nation's coastal and oceanic areas will enhance the capability for including recreation activities in "strategic" and "tactical" assessment of policies and management strategies that affect the services provided by these multiple-use areas. NOAA's strategic assessments are done on a broad regional or national basis. They attempt to identify existing or potential conflicts in the use of coastal and oceanic resources and are designed to complement not replace more detailed tactical analyses. ... The data base described below represents a first step towards providing the types of information that will be required for conducting such benefit-cost analyses in the future. Section II of this paper briefly describes the public expenditure data base and the scope of the analysis performed. Section III compares the differences in public expenditures for recreation between coastal and non-coastal counties and extends this comparison to a regional level of detail. Section IV contains a ranking of the top twenty counties in the coastal zone in terms of total, per capita, and per square mile expenditures for recreation. Section V reviews the trends (1972-1982) in public spending for recreation and the changes that have occurred in the shares of spending by level of government and region. Section VI describes some possible uses and limitations of the public expenditure data base. We conclude Section VII with a discussion of current and planned NOAA research projects on the supply and demand for marine recreation.


18 pgs.


recreation, economic analysis, economic analysis, outdoor recreation, coasts, recreational use, finance