Water-Related News

Charlotte County economy depends on estuary’s health

Healthy and nonpolluted waterways benefit more than the creatures who inhabit them. They also are essential to those who rely on them for their livelihoods, including fishermen, fishing guides and Charlotte County itself.

Recreation is the top economic driver for Charlotte County, according to a report by the Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership, or CHNEP.

Some of the main attractions are county rivers and waterways, as Charlotte Harbor is Florida’s second largest open-water estuary,formed by the blending of saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico with freshwater from the Peace, Myakka, and Caloosahatchee rivers.

Recreation spending in the county accounts for $1,253,569 and provides $378.08 million in labor income, according to the report.

Commercial fishing accounts for $1.69 million in spending and it provides $448,000 in labor income.

Nearly all of Charlotte County is within the CHNEP area, and the total economic impact of natural resources in the county is approximately $1.49 billion annually.