Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Great Lakes Recreational Boating = $9.4 Billion/Yr & 60,000 Jobs

Jan 12: Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) released the results of a study conducted by the Detroit District of the Army Corps of Engineers estimating the annual economic impact -- both direct and secondary -- of recreational boating on the Great Lakes at $9.4 billion, including $5.1 billion in sales and $1.8 billion in personal income. According to the report, an average of 911,000 boaters visit the Great Lakes annually, supporting 60,000 jobs.

Levin said, “This study clearly demonstrates that hundreds of thousands of recreational boaters come to the Great Lakes every year because the lakes are such a treasure, and they bring with them billions of dollars in economic activity and jobs. Recreational boating is an important part of our economy in Michigan and around the Great Lakes and this study provides further support for federal funding to keep this economic engine running.”

The Great Lakes Recreational Boating Report, prepared in accordance with Public Law 106-53, the Water Resources Development Act of 1999 (WRDA), Section 455(c), analyzes the economic importance of recreational boating to the Great Lakes states by tracing the flow of spending throughout the regional economy. In particular, the report finds that the nearly one million recreational boaters on the Great Lakes spend $2.44 billion each year on boating trips and $1.44 billion each year on boats, equipment and supplies.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s registration data for 2003 indicated that there were almost 4.3 million recreational boats in the eight Great Lakes states (including boats registered both within and outside the Great Lakes basin) that year. This comprised a third of all U.S. recreational vessels, and represented a 1.3 percent increase over the five-year period between 1999 and 2003. Michigan is first among Great Lakes states having nearly one million registered recreational boats, less than half of which belong to people living in coastal counties.

It is estimated that there are more than a quarter million marina slips available in Great Lakes states. About 51 percent of the slips are located in counties fronting the Great lakes and 89 percent are seasonal rental slips. An average of 93 percent of the
accessible seasonal slips in the counties that border the Great Lakes were occupied during the summer of 2003. About 107,000 boats were kept in Great Lakes marinas during the boating season. These boat owners spent $665 million on trip-related expenses and $529 million on craft-related items.

Access a release from Senator Levin (
click here). Access the complete 103-page report (click here).