New research shows river and associated natural resources generate $151.7 billion annually
The Lower Mississippi River and its associated natural resources support a diverse and productive regional economy, according to a new profile prepared for the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee. Considered together, river-related economic sectors generate $151.7 billion in annual revenue and employ 585,000 people.
In their research, economists sought to document the values derived from or associated with the Lower Mississippi River and its abundant water, extensive forests, rich soil, diverse fish and wildlife, and other resources. Economists examined 10 sectors: manufacturing, navigation, agriculture, tourism, outdoor recreation, energy, mineral extraction, natural resources harvesting, natural resources services and water supply.
The new report, prepared by Industrial Economics, Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Dominika Dziegielewska-Parry, an economist based in Jackson, Mississippi, provides an updated economic profile of the same region economists examined for a similar report released in 2004. Readers are cautioned not to make direct comparisons between the two reports because some data sources used were different.
“The Mississippi River’s economic and environmental values to society are often overlooked,” said Angeline Rodgers, acting coordinator of the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee (LMRCC). “This new report clearly shows that the river and the rich natural resources it supports are the foundation of the regional economy and are of great importance to the nation.”
“Continued conservation management will help ensure that the many benefits derived from the Mississippi River will continue for generations to come,” said James Caudill, chief of the Division of Economics for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the lead adviser for the economic profile.
The LMRCC is a coalition of 12 state natural resource conservation and environmental quality agencies in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. It provides the only regional forum dedicated to conserving the natural resources of the Lower Mississippi River’s floodplain and focuses on habitat restoration, long-term conservation planning and nature-based economic development. LMRCC staff work out of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Lower Mississippi River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
View or download the Lower Mississippi River 2014 Economic Profile