Hawaii’s coral reef ecosystems are highly valued by Americans, according to a new report commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The peer-reviewed study found that Americans assign an estimated total economic value of $33.57 billion for the coral reefs of the main Hawaiian islands. The estimated value includes both the value of direct uses, such as scuba diving and consuming fish, and the value of passive uses, such as conservation of the reefs for future generations.

“The study shows that people from across the United States treasure Hawaii’s coral reefs, even though many never get to visit them,” said Dr. Jane Lubchenco, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “It illustrates the economic value of coral reefs to all Americans, and how important it is to conserve these ecosystems for future generations.”

To read the report, visit http://coralreef.noaa.gov/aboutcrcp/news/featuredstories/oct11/hi_value/.


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