SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- A national survey shows that ocean and coastal recreation activities, including ocean-related sight-seeing and photographing, can make a big business that contributes significantly to the U.S. economy.
The recently-released findings from the National Ocean Recreation Expenditure Survey, the first of its kind for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), found that about 49 million adults over 18 years of age nationwide participated in ocean and coastal recreational activities.
They spent more than 1.2 billion days along the coasts and over 141 billion U.S. dollars in ocean recreation-related goods and services.
"This is the first national survey undertaken by NOAA Fisheries to estimate participation levels and the numbers of days people spent enjoying a broad range of ocean and coastal recreation activities," said the study's co-author Scott Steinback, an economist at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
The extensive survey, which was conducted in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia (DC) between 2012 and 2013, indicated that the spending by the ocean-going revelers supported more than 3.1 million full and part-time jobs, 409 billion dollars in income to businesses, and 135 billion dollars to household incomes.
The study covered eight categories of ocean-related activities such as recreational fishing, recreational shellfishing, hunting waterfowl or other animals, viewing of photographing of the ocean, beachcombing and many more other items along the shoreline of the United States.
The Pacific region, with 48 percent of the U.S. ocean shoreline, had the largest number of participants, days involved, and ocean recreation-related spending, according to the study.
An estimated 14 million people from the region spent 382 million days on an ocean activity and more than 39 billion dollars on durable and trip-related goods and services.
The second-runner Mid-Atlantic region that occupies 12 percent of the U.S. coastline followed the Pacific region with more than 10 million people going on vocation along the region's shoreline.
Even people from the New England region, which has about 7 percent of the U.S. ocean shoreline and reported the smallest regional share of 5.6 million participants of ocean recreation, spent about 1.1 billion dollars in 135 million days along its coast.
"This study is an important contribution to our understanding of how a wide range of ocean and coastal activities contributes to our national and regional economies," said another coauthor Rosemary Kosaka from the NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center laboratory in Santa Cruz of California.