Outdoor recreation sizable player in Delaware economy

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The Chesapeake Conservancy released a new report. that shows outdoor recreation is. a sizable player in the Delaware economy.

The conservancy pointed to a U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) report on the economic impact of outdoor recreationin states and nationwide for 2019.

The year of 2020 saw more people turn to outdoor recreation in Delaware and elsewhere, due to stay at home advisories.

Recreation accounts for three percent of total jobs in Delaware, the highest in the Chesapeake Bay region.

While most Delaware rivers and creeks flow into the Delaware River and Bay, the Nanticoke River in southern Delaware and Choptank River in central Delaware are part of the Chesapeake watershed. All three counties in the state have creeks or rivers that flow into the bay.

The state continues to invest in walking and bicyle trails and helped bring a zipline operator to Lums Pond State Park south of Newark.

“Outdoor recreation is very clearly a significant contributor to our national economy and to the economies of states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The 2019 report from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that the outdoor recreation economy continues to account for more than 2 percent of the U.S. GDP as a whole,” stated Joel Dunn, CEO of the Chesapeake Bay Conservancy.

Dunn continued, “Open space and nature are the critical infrastructure standing up this large sector of our economy, and we must continue to invest in parks and open space in order to meet public demand for outdoor recreation.

The conservancy is calling for more parks and preservation of open space within the watershed of the nation’s largest estuary. The bay has struggled with pollution and runoff problems that continue to affect its seafood industry.

A table outlining report findings on the outdoor recreation economy for states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed is listed below:

State Total Outdoor Recreation Value Added (billions) Percent of Total Value Added Total Outdoor Recreation Employment Percent of Total Employment Total Outdoor Recreation Compensation (billions) Percent of Total Compensation
DE $1.34 1.7% 18,186 3.0% $0.62 1.8%
D.C. $1.64 1.1% 17,218 1.9% $0.97 1.0%
MD $7.14 1.7% 89,335 2.3% $3.85 1.7%
NY $29.25 1.7% 291,429 2.3% $15.91 1.7%
PA $13.21 1.6% 170,565 2.2% $6.60 1.5%
VA $9.31 1.7% 123,369 2.3% $4.72 1.5%
WV $1.50 1.9% 22,543 2.5% $0.68 1.6%
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