Since Restore America’s Estuaries Published The Economic and Market Value of Coasts and Estuaries: What’s At Stake? in 2008 a lot has changed; providing grounds for optimism, concern, and a clear call to action.
The updated 2021 Report demonstrates there is some good news. We can mitigate the dire impacts of climate change by protecting and restoring our coasts. We also recognize the increased value natural-infrastructure has for coastal communities and the global economy. While estuaries only make up 4% of America’s total landmass, they are home to 40% of the U.S. population and produce 47% of the country’s GDP.
As we think about what we want to be as a society we should ask: what are fishing communities without fish? What are marshes without marsh grass? What is a beach holiday without sand and birds? Will we want to continue to live, work, and play along our coasts if we are constantly threatened by floods and storms? Now is the time to harness our collective spirit and ensure change happens and we protect who, what, and where we love.