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New report highlights economic impact of the Tampa Bay estuary

Tampa Bay – For more than 10,000 years, a healthy Tampa Bay has been the lifeblood of the region that bears its name. Today, a healthy Tampa Bay supports one in 10 jobs across the region and generates $32.1 billion in economic output, according to a new report, the 2023 Economic Valuation of Tampa Bay, from the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC) and the Tampa Bay Estuary Program.

“This report makes it clear that a healthy Tampa Bay is vital to the regional economy, and that our economic well-being goes hand-in-hand with the health of the Tampa Bay estuary,” said Woody Brown, Mayor of Largo, Acting Chair of the TBRPC, and Vice Chair of the TBRPC’s Agency on Bay Management (ABM).

“All too often, we don’t recognize the Tampa Bay estuary as a critical economic driver for our region,” adds Barbara Sheen Todd, Chair of the ABM who also served as a Pinellas County Commissioner for nearly 25 years. “Our ability to restore those important natural habitats has made Tampa Bay an international success story, and we must continue to focus on maintaining and improving the environmental integrity of Tampa Bay.”

And the primary economic drivers documented in the new report depend upon a healthy bay, notes Ed Sherwood, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program. “Tourism and marine construction contribute nearly 58% of that $32 billion economic output. If the bay degrades and healthy habitats go away, or we do a poor job of protecting the quality of our environment, then it’s likely we’ll adversely impact those sectors in the future.”

The full report, available online at, classifies the economic benefits of the bay in three categories – economic impact, increased property values for homes located near the bay, and ecosystem services.