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Moore School study: Natural resources boost economy

South Carolina’s bountiful natural resources contribute nearly $30 billion annually to the state’s economy, and more than 230,000 jobs are tied to business activities formed around this resource base, according to a study released Wednesday (May 27) by the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business.

“While it is hard to put a value on all the ways natural resources contribute to South Carolina’s economic development, it can be clearly shown that they support thousands of jobs, millions in income and a permanent base for economic development that should last forever,” according to the report, which was prepared by economists Dr. Douglas P. Woodward and Dr. Paulo Guimaraes in the school’s Division of Research.

“Access to abundant recreational opportunities and natural assets plays an important role in economic growth and quality of life, so protection and enhancement of our natural resources should be part of our overall economic development strategy,” said John Frampton, director of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, which initiated the study.

The impacts presented in the study, titled “Underappreciated Assets: The Economic Impact of South Carolina’s Natural Resources,” measure the annual economic activity associated with certain resource bases such as land (forestry) and water (fishing, swimming, boating).

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The value of natural resources

  • Economic impact: $30 billion annually
  • Employment: 230,000 jobs

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