Value of the Bays
The inherent value of living things notwithstanding, an independent consulting firm report prepared in 2001 shows what most knew all along that the value of the Coastal Bays’ natural resources to the local economy is staggering. Still, some of the numbers may come as a surprise. Without the inclusion of beachgoers or most Ocean City-related activities, the total value of the Coastal Bays is around half a billion dollars annually.
Recreational activity, which does not include related boating, food, property, or lodging, was worth a total of $206 million in 2000. Commercial fishing was worth $7.9 million and recreational boating about $25.5 million. Full-time jobs related to the bays come in at 5,680. Some 5,114 of those are related to recreation and 516 support the commercial fishing industry.
In addition, because of many other factors, the Coastal Bays have a much larger value to Worcester County than that indicated only by annual spending. Visitors’ willingness-to-pay indicates that non-market values are more than $183 million. In addition, waterfront property, with an estimated value of the premium (only) for waterfront location is $360 million, with an annualized value of $36.6 million per year.
An Assessment of the Economic Value of the Coastal Bays