Projects aimed at ensuring the future ecological health and economic productivity of the Gulf of Maine could create thousands of new jobs, according to a new plan released by the Gulf of Maine Habitat Restoration and Conservation Initiative. The U.S. Gulf of Maine Habitat Restoration and Conservation Plan also serves as a reminder of economic benefits that the Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire already derive from the Gulf’s natural resources. “The Gulf of Maine is one of most productive ecosystems in the world, supporting commercial and recreational fisheries with a combined annual value to the US economy in excess of $1 billion and providing upwards of 26,000 jobs,” it notes.
The plan is the result of a collaborative effort by state, federal, and non-government organizations to quantify the needed investment in five broad issue areas: fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, invasive species, climate change, and long-range planning, science, and communications. It estimates that an initial investment of $3 billion dollars over five years is needed to get the job done. During that time, the natural resources of the Gulf of Maine will support economic activities generating more than $5 billion for the U.S. economy. It’s an investment that’s worth making.