The U.S. economy is very dependent on healthy coastal and ocean resources. Consider the following facts:
14 percent of U.S. counties that are adjacent to the coast produce 45 percent of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP), with close to three million jobs (one in 50) directly dependent on the resources of the oceans and Great Lakes.
In 2011, the ocean economy, which includes six economic sectors that depend on the ocean and Great Lakes, contributed more than $282 billion to the U.S. GDP and provided more than 2.8 million jobs.
Tourism and Recreation account for 70 percent of the ocean economy's total employment and 34 percent of its GDP. Offshore Mineral Extraction accounts for another 34 percent of the ocean economy's GDP.
You never know what you might find on a beach. Just ask Keith Moreis. During a winter stroll along the beach last December, Mr. Moreis found a bottle cast adrift 54 years ago. But who cast the bottle into the ocean?