The ocean is essential to our everyday lives. Not only do we rely on its fundamental ecological functions, but the impacts of ocean-based industries are critical to trade and the global economy.
The true value of the ocean and its multitude of resources and promising opportunities is difficult to quantify and cannot be overstated. However, the ocean is facing unprecedented pressures, from pollution and overfishing to climate change. In order to mitigate these pressures and sustainably utilize available resources for both economic and ecological gain, more decision makers are placing a strong and focused emphasis on blue economy development.
The blue economy is defined by the World Bank as the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem." The term ocean economy is often used interchangeably with blue economy, though it sometimes refers to only economic activities. In this report, both terms are used and intended to encompass the economic and ecological aspects of the ocean.
Conservative estimates indicate that the value of the blue economy will double over the next decade, with a projected global value of $3 trillion by 2030. Across the world, municipal and national entities are investing in the sustainable development of their own blue economies and reaping significant economic and ecological rewards. Tangible opportunities exist for California and Los Angeles (L.A.) County to follow in their footsteps.
California is well known for its striking coastline. The nearly one thousand distinct beaches, pockets of surf and sand in each coastal neighborhood serve as both calming oases and centers of bustling activity.
However, the connections that Californians have with the water go far beyond ocean views and beachside adventures. California’s ocean has fostered the development of a burgeoning blue economy, currently providing over 660,000 direct jobs and over $143 billion in total economic output in the state.
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