Economic Study Shows Wetlands Restoration Projects As Key Employer, Major Economic Driver Across Gulf Coast

NEW ORLEANS — June 7, 2012 – Following extensive research into the economic impact of wetlands restoration along the Gulf Coast, GNO, Inc., in partnership with The Walton Family Foundation and Mather Economics LLC, today released a study forecasting significant job growth in the region should fines related to the 2010 oil spill be directed to wetlands restoration in the Gulf. The study, “Job Creation from Gulf Coast Wetlands Restoration,” found that such projects would create, on average, 29.54 jobs per million dollars, adding as many as 57,697 new jobs across the region within the first 10 years and, in turn, contributing significantly to the economic growth and stability of the Gulf Coast region.

“This study makes it clear that wetlands restoration has significant employment potential across the Gulf Coast and could be a tremendous economic driver across the whole region,” said Scott Burns, Director of the Walton Family Foundation’s Environment Focus Area.

The Walton Family Foundation commissioned the report by economic research firm Mather Economics LLC to understand the employment potential, should $25 billion in funds be allocated specifically for wetlands restoration projects over the next 50 years.

Among the study’s key findings, restoration projects in the five-state region could, by a moderate estimate:

  • Create 57,697 new jobs over 50 years (assumes “Moderate” model fund loading)
  • Add, on average, 1,549 jobs per year
  • Result in 29.54 new jobs lasting on average 4.4 years per each million dollars
  • Promote strong job growth across the transportation/utilities, government, leisure/hospitality, business services, construction, retail trade, and manufacturing sectors
  • Generate jobs within a wide range of wages ($13,334-$54,471 per year, per person)
  • Bring balance to the regional economy through direct and indirect employment

“This report highlights the opportunities created by rebuilding wetlands along the Gulf Coast and demonstrates how the work related to this mission will have a deep economic impact on businesses and workers in the region,” said Michael Hecht, President & CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “Additionally, projects that target coastal restoration will be able to take advantage of the expertise that we have developed within these coastal states.”

For the complete report, go to