Coastal and Ocean Resource Economics
National Survey on Recreation and the Environment
National Ocean Service Social Science
Socioeconomic Impacts of Marine Reserves
Socioeconomic Monitoring Program for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Southern California Beach Valuation Projects

Artificial and Natural Reef Valuation
Spatial Trends in Coastal Socioeconomics (STICS)
Bibliographies/Benefits Transfer
Publications/Data Sets

news and updates

The NOS Social Science Plan is now available. Click here for details.

The analysis of the artificial reef created with the U.S.S. Spiegel Grove is now available. Click here for details.

The NSRE Forecast report is now available and includes forecasts of participation and days for marine recreation for 2005 and 2010. Click here for access (pdf, 672 kb).

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NOAA's Coastal and Ocean Resource Economics

The Coastal and Ocean Resource Economics (CORE) Program conducts marine-related socioeconomic research for a wide variety of applications and geographic areas. CORE projects include state-of-the-art socioeconomic monitoring in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the first-ever nationwide estimate of participation rates in marine-related recreation activities, an extensive beach valuation effort in Southern California, and many other research activities. The links below provide background on CORE, as well as a complete description of the program.

National Marine Sanctuaries
Economic Valuation
National Survey on Recreation and the Environment
Other Current Research
Working Partners
Publications, Datasets, and Links


The CORE Program began in 1985. The program has conducted inventories of outdoor recreation areas and facilities in coastal areas and valuations of marine resources for outdoor recreation use. In 1985, the program also initiated an annual series of workshops with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), called the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE) Workshops. NOAA’s Damage Assessment and Restoration Program (DARP), Economic Group was originally housed in the Coastal and Ocean Resource Economics Program. DARP is now a separate office, although the CORE program maintains a close working relationship (see below for a description of DARP and a link to the DARP Web site).


National Marine Sanctuaries

For the past five years, the CORE program has assisted NOAA’s Marine Sanctuaries Program in addressing socioeconomic issues. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) is NOAA’s attempt to implement the nation’s first application of integrated coastal management. CORE assisted the effort with the project “Linking the Environment and the Economy of the Florida Keys/Florida Bay.” This effort led to the development of the Socioeconomic Monitoring Program for the FKNMS. This program is the Nation’s first attempt at socioeconomic monitoring to complement ecosystem monitoring. In addition, CORE has become a leader in addressing the socioeconomic impacts of ecological and marine reserves ("no-take" areas). Examples include recent work supporting the creation of an ecological reserve in the Tortugas area of the FKNMS, and current work supporting efforts in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary to develop a network of marine reserves. More information on this can be found under the theme Socioeconomic Impacts of Marine Reserves.

Economic Valuation

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, CORE began cooperative research with the U.S. Forest Service, Outdoor Recreation and Wilderness Assessment Group. Economic valuation work was conducted on 50 sites around the nation as part of the Public Area Recreation Visitor’s Survey (PARVS). Most of this work focused on beaches. In 1995-96, this work was modified and applied to the Florida Keys. Many parties involved in damage-assessment cases and beach-management issues have used the results of the PARVS beach valuation. In 1998, CORE entered a similar multi-agency effort to value the Southern California beaches. A complete description of this project, and available reports, data and related links, can be found under the theme Southern California Beach Valuation.

Reef valuation has recently become a major issue. CORE assisted the State of Florida and county agencies with the valuation of both artificial and natural reefs. CORE assisted with artificial reef valuation in northwest Florida, and the valuation of both artificial and natural reefs in southeast Florida. CORE is also helping to develop a "Coral Reef Literature Review." This annotated bibliography will be posted on this Web site. The reef valuation work can be found under the theme Reef Valuation.

National Survey on Recreation and the Environment (NSRE)

Cooperative research with the U.S. Forest Service continues with the National Survey on Recreation and the Environment (NSRE) 2000. NSRE 2000 is the first time marine recreation has been included in the survey, which dates back to 1960. More information on both marine and non-marine recreation including NSRE questionnaires, reports, and general summaries of results, can be found under the theme National Survey on Recreation and the Environment (NSRE) 2000.


Other Current Research

CORE is also involved in a cooperative effort with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census and Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), to organize Census and BEA socioeconomic data for spatial assessments in coastal areas. Data is available on a CD-ROM, and the Web site supports interactive retrieval of data and maps. This information can be found under the theme Spatial Patterns of Socioeconomic Data.

CORE is also involved in the South Florida Restoration effort. CORE economists serve on the steering committee for socioeconomic research to support restoration projects. CORE helped develop the Social Science Action Plan, helps develop annual Requests for Proposals (RFPs), and provides reviews of proposals. An annotated bibliography, developed to support this effort, covers all of South Florida, including the Florida Keys.

CORE has worked with other federal agencies that manage natural resources in developing common databases of economic valuation work to support "benefits transfer" -- the application of existing information to a new policy/management problem. Several databases are, or will be, included on this site. One covers all of Florida, one covers the United States, and one covers coral reefs throughout the world. Annotated bibliographies for all three of these databases are available under the theme Bibliographies/Benefits Transfer.

Working Partners

Damage Assessment and Restoration Program. NOAA's Damage Assessment and Restoration Program (DARP) conducts natural resource damage assessments and restoration of coastal and marine resources injured as a result of oil spills, releases of hazardous materials and ship groundings. The mission of DARP is to restore coastal and marine resources that have been injured by releases of oil or hazardous substances and to obtain compensation for the public's lost use and enjoyment of these resources. CORE maintains a close working relationship with the DARP economics group and many of CORE's valuation results are used in damage assessment cases. To visit the DARP Web site, click here.

The National Ocean Economics Program (NOEP). The objective of the NOEP is to provide useful data on ocean related economic activities and resource trends to government, businesses and individuals to assist with investment and management decisions as they attempt to balance conservation and growth in coastal areas. To view a one-page information sheet about NOEP, click here (pdf, 6.7 kb). To visit the NOEP Web site, click here.

Publications, Datasets, and Links

Many of CORE’s publications are listed under Publications/Data Sets. Most reports available in portable document format (PDF) are linked for downloads. Some datasets will be available on this page soon, but all data is available on CD-ROM. Requests for reports and data can be made via e-mail.

For more information on the Coastal and Ocean Resource Economics Program, contact:

Dr. Vernon R. (Bob) Leeworthy
Phone: 301-713-3000 ext. 138
Peter C. Wiley
Phone: 301-713-3000 ext. 139

NOAA/NOS/Special Projects
1305 East-West Highway, SSMC4, 9th Floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3281
Fax: 301-713-4384

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