Photo: Camelia TWU, Wanter, sand, and sky
The Gulf of Mexico (Spanish: Golfo de México) is an ocean basin and a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, largely surrounded by the North American continent.
The U.S. states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida border the Gulf on the north, which are often referred to as the “Third Coast”, in comparison with the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
The Great Invisible
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Wildlife Tourism and the Gulf Coast Economy
July 9, 2013
It is widely recognized that tourism plays a vital role in the Gulf Coast economy. Less commonly recognized is that tourism is largely a resource-based industry. The coastal environment of the Gulf of Mexico supports a $19-billion wildlife tourism industry, engaging 20 million customers annually in recreational fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching. An important economic driver for the five Gulf states, wildlife tourism involves hundreds of guide businesses and generates customers for thousands of hospitality establishments where wildlife tourists eat and sleep. Many business owners who were interviewed for this study expressed that where endangered ecosystems can no longer support wildlife, visitors have no reason to come. Restoring the Gulf Coast environment is therefore critically important to helping the region economically.
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