Millions of Americans visit our nation's sandy shores every year to relax, socialize, swim, paddle, or simply enjoy the view. Our nation's beaches are also major drivers of our coastal economies. From the coast of Maine to the shores of Hawaii, beaches attract an endless stream of visitors who patronize local hotels and businesses. According to the National Ocean Economics Program, ocean tourism and recreation contributes over $100 billion to our GDP every year.
On the last EcoWatch report card our oceans received a "D" grade. This grade is based on factors including pollution, overfishing and the impacts of climate change, biodiversity, carbon storage, coastal protection, clean waters, natural products, coastal livelihoods, economies, tourism and recreation.