Estimating the economic benefits of regional ocean observing systems
Kite-Powell, Hauke L.
Colgan, Charles S.
Wellman, Katharine F.
Kaiser, Mark J.
Pulsipher, Allan G.
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We develop a methodology to estimate the potential economic benefits from new investments in regional coastal ocean observing systems in US waters, and apply this methodology to generate preliminary estimates of such benefits. The approach focuses on potential economic benefits from coastal ocean observing information within ten geographic regions encompassing all coastal waters of the United States, and within a wide range of industrial and recreational activities including recreational fishing and boating, beach recreation, maritime transportation, search and rescue operations, spill response, marine hazards prediction, offshore energy, power generation, and commercial fishing. Our findings suggest that annual benefits to users from the deployment of ocean observing systems are likely to run in the multiple $100s of millions of dollars per year. The project results should be considered first-order estimates that are subject to considerable refinement as the parameters of regional observing systems are better defined, and as our understanding of user sectors improves.
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