Oceans of opportunity: managing future uses of Florida's ocean spaces
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Oceans of opportunity: managing future uses of Florida's ocean spaces

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    Coastal and ocean spatial planning is an essential first step for Florida to manage its oceans and become a national and global leader in marine industry development, emergency planning and response and natural resource asset protection. The Florida Ocean Alliance (FOA) recommends that Florida be proactive in developing a comprehensive plan for use and protection of its oceans to leverage emerging opportunities for industry diversification​, cluster development and job creation, while preserving the long-term integrity of natural systems. FOA members represent ocean-related industries in tourism, ports, shipping, fishing, boating, cruising, technology, as well as scientific research organizations, academic institutions and public interest groups. Emergin​g economic opportunities for Florida‘s coastal oceans include oil and gas exploration and production, energy from wind and currents, and offshore aquaculture and mineral mining. As these opportunities emerge, so do the conflicts they create with existing activities and the need for healthy oceans. To encourage the development of new ocean industries in Florida and ensure that current uses and resources are managed sustainably, the state needs a plan for use of its ocean waters, just as it does for its land. Our economic and social well-​being depends on it. Our oceans and coasts drive our economy. In Florida, oceans and coasts generate a total of almost $562 billion in cash flow and hundreds of thousands of jobs. Directly related to the ocean are over 500,000 jobs and over $13 billion in wages, for a total contribution of $25 billion to Florida‘s total gross domestic product.
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