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Abstract: Session C  11:50 am (Back to Session C)
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The Ripple Effect: The Economic Impact of the Ecological Restoration Industry

 Liam O’Meara
Environmental Quality Resources, LLC
Millersville, MD

 It’s a good sign that more Americans now work in ecological restoration than coal mining. The restoration community has grown into a major national industry which, of its own volition, generates a massive economic benefit to communities over and above the ecological amenities the industry exists to deliver. As a community we are naturally focused on the ecological benefits we create, and don’t spend much time or energy examining, assessing, and communicating the positive economic effects manifested in the economic ripple effect that our work has on the economy.

 In this presentation I aim to outline the various economic impacts, everything from the spending multiplier effect of construction to the economic externalities of cleaner water, and to review the few studies that have been done on the area to learn more about the size and impact of the economic sector we participate in. We’ll discuss that types of careers that ecological restoration creates, and the local nature of the economic impact that projects have. Hopefully, we’ll all come away with some new ideas about how we can better promote the full suite of benefits that our industry brings to the community.