Conserved land has millions of dollars in impact on Va. shore
Highlights from the study:
About 33 percent of land on Virginia’s Eastern Shore is considered to be conserved and 10 percent is in conservation easements, according to the Coastal Zone Management Program.
Organizations directly involved in land conservation on the Shore — including government agencies, state park operations, public research institutions, and nonprofits such as The Nature Conservancy and others — were associated with nearly $22 million in economic activity and added an additional $8.76 million to the region’s gross regional product, the study found.
Those organizations created 160 direct jobs in 2016, the study found.
Additionally, the study found more than $200 million in economic activity was associated with two industries it said are closely related to land conservation — aquaculture and tourism.
Aquaculture on the Eastern Shore had almost $157 million in economic activity associated with the industry in 2016, adding an additonal $114 million to the gross regional product, the authors found.
The Eastern Shore had 445 jobs in the aquaculture industry in 2016, the report said.
Economic activity associated with visitor spending in Accomack and Northampton counties was an estimated $51 million the same year, adding an additional $26 million to the gross regional product.