[Coral-List] Coral reefs importance brainstorm

Richard E. Dodge dodge at nova.edu
Sun Aug 17 09:00:58 EDT 2003

Dear All,

For a good summary of the economics of reefs of Southeast Florida and the 
Keys (Monroe, Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties), go to:


and click the Executive Summary.



At 20:32 8/16/2003 -0500, John Meaker wrote:
>On Sun, 17 Aug 2003, Doug Fenner wrote:
> > Good question.  Tell them cold hard money, cash and heaps of it.  I 
> think I
> > read that the Florida Keys bring in 6 billion dollars a year in tourism
> > revenues.  That's billion with a B.
>         I'm wondering where you are getting your figures.  Leeworthy and
>Wiley[1] only attribute 1.2 billion to the entire tourism industry in the
>Keys.  That figure includes everything from visitors who come for the reef
>to those who visit for Fantasy Fest.  When you look at their figures, more
>money (by far) is spent by tourists in the bars than on the reefs.  I
>suspect that in dive resort destinations that the numbers are the opposite
>and more money is spent on diving than entertainment.
>         Sure, there is a cross pollination and divers do go to the bars
>and the party hearty crowd does visit the reef.  However, to say that
>*all* of that 1.2 billion can be attributed to a healthy coral ecosystem
>is as foolish as saying that it can *all* be attributed to Jimmy Buffett
>and his promotion of the Keys lifestyle that *never* really did exist.
> >      So why isn't the tourism industry putting some serious money into
> > finding out what's going wrong and fixing it?  Not just a couple dollars
> > here and a couple there.  Its their income that's on the line.   -Doug
>         Perhaps because they don't really believe that tourism is
>dependent on healthy reefs?  In areas where the people *do* believe that
>tourism is dependent on a healthy ecosystem, the locals seem to be much
>more involved in trying to preserve the reefs.
>         Please don't get me wrong, I firmly believe that we need to do
>something to preserve the ecosystem.  But I don't believe that using
>figures that are so easily shot down do much to bolster our position.
>Preserving the ecosystem is much more important than the short term
>economic gai of "this tourist season" and we need to stress that.  What's
>that old cliche?  "The Earth does not belong to us; we belong to the
>         John.
>[1]     Leeworthy, Vernon R. and Peter C. Wiley, 2002, "Profiles and
>         Economic Contribution: General VIsitors to Monroe County, Florida
>         2000 - 2001" published by NOAA, Washington, DC.
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>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

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