The U.S. maritime transportation system carries 95 percent of U.S. foreign trade. Each year, ships move two billion tons of freight in and out of our nation's ports.
The U.S. economy is very dependent on the health of the ocean. Consider the following facts: Through the fishing and boating industry, tourism and recreation, and ocean transport, one out of six jobs in the U.S. is marine-related.
In 2009, the ocean economy, which includes six economic sectors that depend on the ocean and Great Lakes, contributed over $223 billion annually to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and provided more than 2.6 million jobs.
Tourism and recreation is the largest sector of the ocean economy, contributing to 72 percent of employment and 28 percent of GDP.
For more information:
NOAA's Coastal and Ocean Resource Economics