Intracoastal Waterway study suggests potential losses

RALEIGH, N.C. – The first phase of a two-year study of the economic impact and benefits of recreational boating on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) suggests that the economic impact of reduced navigability is significant, according to the Spring edition of the North Carolina Beach, Inlet & Waterway Association newsletter.

The study shows the great benefit created by recreational boats using the AIWW on a national, state and local level. Approximately 75 percent of the economic benefits are federal, while 25 percent are state and local. The federal return on investment is $26 per $1 spent, according to the association, while the state and local ROI is $29 per $1 spent.

The estimated state-wide economic impact of reduced AIWW navigability due to reductions in the number of boater trip are losses of $103 million in economic output, 1,623 jobs, $50 million in wages and salaries, $14 million in federal tax revenues and $8.6 million in state and local tax revenues.

Under reduced AIWW navigability conditions, the number of AIWW recreational boating trips taken per year by N.C. resident boaters is estimated to fall by 45 percent, the association stated. And the number of trips by non-N.C. resident boaters is estimated to decline by 30 percent.

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