Quick Fact: For every $1 spent on artificial reefs in the Florida Panhandle, the conservative overall economic benefit of the artificial reef system over its average functioning life span is $138 (source: John Dodrill, Natural Sciences Manager, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Artificial Reef Program). That is a 13,800% return on investment.
Still not convinced of the economic value of artificial reefs? Then peruse the following economic impact studies:
Background: In 1999, a study conducted by Dr. Frederick W. Bell and Dr. Mark Bonn of Florida State University estimated the estimated the market economic impact (e.g., sales/output, income and employment) and non-market economic use value (consumer’s surplus) of the artificial reefs in a five-county area (Bay, Walton, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Escambia counties) in northwest Florida to include:
(excerpted from Chapter 6, Report Summary):
- Residents spent over $57 million associated with fishing and diving on or about artificial reefs off the five coastal counties in Northwest Florida in a 12 month period.
- These expenditures generated 695 full and part-time jobs in these counties.
- Over $7.4 million was generated in wages and salaries in the five counties associated with fishing and diving on or about artificial reefs.
A updated study by University of Florida Sea Grant Program summarizes economic impacts in several regions of Florida. (full report http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe649)
A recent study just released by University of Florida Sea Grant Program summarizes economic impacts in southwest Florida counties. A full report is available at Bob Swett et al., 2011