Economic Impact of S.C.'s Natural Resources & the SCDNR

The 2009 study, "Underappreciated Assets: The Economic Impact of South Carolina's Natural Resources" by the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business, found that well-managed natural resources are essential for economic development. Blessed with incredible natural bounty and beauty, South Carolina's natural resources are essential for economic development and contribute nearly $30 billion and 230,000 jobs to the state's economy, according to the 2009 study.

Overall Economic Impact of Natural Resources on South Carolina.

2008 Total
Labor Income $7.8 billion
Employment 236,110
Total Impact $29.1 billion

Outdoor Recreational Impacts: Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing

In South Carolina, a major part of outdoor recreation centers on fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing. The Department of Natural Resources supports, maintains, and enhances these activities as a primary mission.

Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Viewing: Economic Impact

2008 Direct Indirect ** Induced** Total
Value Added* $1,341,344,566 $324,191,903 $525,872,930 $2,191,408,400
Labor Income $897,822,911 $187,818,817 $270,028,932 $1,355,670,661
Employment 44,672 5,205 8,660 58,537
Output $2,310,822,440 $590,567,967 $892,762,984 $3,794,151,390

Outdoor Recreational Activities

Natural resources are the basis for most recreational activities in South Carolina. Recreation resources must be managed and maintained. Recreational activities in South Carolina are diverse, as indicated in the tables below, which identify the participation of South Carolinians (age 12 or older) in outdoor recreation. The data are derived from South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism’s periodic survey of the South Carolina public.

South Carolina Recreation Participation Trends: Percentage Participating in Recreational Activity (Six Highest Participation Rates) Total Participation in Recreational Activities (Number of Times) by South Carolinians Age 12 and Older: Six Highest Estimated Participation (Trips) 2005
Beach swimming/ sunbathing 62.5 Bird wildlife 46,093,331
Freshwater fishing 37.2 Watching wildlife 46,093,331
Visiting an unusual natural feature 34.7 Beach swimming/ sunbathing 24,547,789
Motor boating 34.1 Motor boating 19,850,155
Watching wildlife 33.4 Freshwater fishing 16,247,458
Lake/river swimming 28.0 Lake/river swimming 11,726,426
Source: South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism 2005 Recreation Participation and Preference Study. Columbia, SC, 2005.

Outdoor Recreational Impacts: Coastal Tourism

In addition to fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing, many visitors and local residents take advantage of South Carolina’s most famous recreational asset—its miles of sandy beach and ocean surf, stretching from the Grand Strand to the Low Country. The tourism impacts shown in the table below do not include historic tourism (Charleston, for example). The state value added (gross domestic product) from coastal tourism amounts to approximately $3.5 billion, supporting 81,000 jobs. Total output and value added impacts are given as well.

Coastal Tourism: Economic Impact

2008 Direct Indirect ** Induced** Total
Value Added* $2,175,917,712 $525,611,037 $800,411,667.80 $3,501,940,417
Labor Income $1,357,208,542 $295,208,228 $411,000,802 $2,063,417,573
Employment 60,399 8,119 12,466 80,984
Output $4,684,866,174 $1,002,277,617 $1,358,850,668 $7,045,994,459