Overview of NOEP

The National Ocean Economics Program

An assessment of the ocean's economy through a national information system is essential to restore healthy and productive oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes. The National Ocean Economics Program (NOEP) provides a broad range of relevant and accessible economic and socio-economic information on changes and trends in the coastal and ocean environment. Our primary objective is the creation and distribution to the public of a spatially and temporally consistent data set that will support a wide range of economic, scientific, and resource management activities. A secondary objective is the development of selected derivative products designed to demonstrate the utility of the primary data set. NOEP outputs comprise both market and non-market indicators of the value of ocean and coastal resources, and incorporate key indicators of the human activities that depend upon and impact ocean and coastal resources.

Our overall mission is to link the nature, scope, and value of human activities to the environmental state of the coast and coastal oceans; to present useful information on the economics and the natural and social resources of the coast and coastal oceans; and to provide useful data that demonstrates the interdependence between the health of the U.S. economy and the health of the coast and coastal ocean. The long-term goal is to explore through market and non-market indicators, flows and stock values of natural resources, aggregated by geographies; then present through an information tool that can juxtapose, or even integrate, information about changes in human activities with information about changes in the biophysical environment.

The NOEP is the first effort to provide this type of information. The US Commission on Ocean Policy (USCOP) noted the success of the NOEP. In its final report, "An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century," the USCOP commended the NOEP for laying the foundation for a broader program of "sustained, consistent, and comprehensive data collection and analyses on the ocean and coastal economies." The foundation for this work is time-series information system of comparable and consistent economic and social indictors with clear definitions and descriptions for the coast and coastal ocean. The data are easily accessible over the Internet. www.OceanEconomics.org.

Overview of the Program

To accomplish our mission the program's researchers extract appropriate data sets from multiple sources, define boundaries for the data, compile and formulate them for public use, and then assess them for reliability and relevance.

We provide the following information and products:
  • Ocean and Coastal market indicators using direct values by sector and industry for employment, earned wages and income, output of services and goods, number of establishments per sector
  • Demographic indicators exploring population and housing trends and patterns by geography
  • Natural resource production of coastal and ocean, and associated value
  • Government expenditures
  • An annotated bibliography of studies using non-market values with associated definitions and explanations of methodologies used
  • The values of non-market goods and services, as estimated by scholars in selected studies
Value of the Program

The NOEP data can enable coastal states to manage growth more effectively through coordination of marine and watershed policies by access to natural resource assessments and measurable indicators as performance standards as were provided after Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. The NOEP data also will enable decision makers to evaluate management policies affecting fragile or hazard-prone coastal areas and ensure consistency with national, regional, and states goals aimed at achieving economically and environmentally sustainable development.

updated 16-Nov-2017