Pinellas County surrounded by the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay enjoys a unique water heritage and the mixing of these waters through our many bays supports a spectacular fishing industry. As stewards of the environment, our efforts should focus not only on our land but also on our water.
Our residents enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle – we cherish our rights to boat, swim, fish, and consume high quality seafood. Here at Pinellas County Extension, we’ve written many articles on how to “green” your office, home and work environments. In this article, we’d like to emphasize green thinking as it relates to our coasts and oceans. As you may recall, sustainability is focused on the economy, environment and society and nowhere are these linkages more important than in our coastal environment. Our oceans support our economy, enhance our connections to nature, and provide recreational opportunities.
Florida oceans support a multi-billion dollar industry that is primarily based around fishing, tourism and recreation, and trade. According to the 2008 Phase II report produced by the National Ocean Economics Program (NOEP), Florida’s coastal economy generated $562B in 2006 while Florida’s ocean economy generated $25B in 2005. NOEP distinguishes between coastal and ocean economies to account for economic activity located along the coast and economic activity using the ocean.
In recognition of Florida Oceans Day:
- support the safe boating laws that protect our manatees
- the clean marina regulations that prevent water pollution, and
- the fishing regulations that protect marine life
Above all else, pledge to protect and preserve Florida’s oceans so that future generations can enjoy.