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Anna Weinstein
Watershed Institute, CSU Monterey Bay
100 Campus Center Drive Seaside, CA 93955

A. General demographics

icon The populations of the four major counties bordering the MBNMS grew steadily from 1980 to 1994, and all counties are expected to grow steadily into 2015 (Figure 1). Populations of all four counties are primarily Caucasian followed by Hispanic, except for San Mateo County, where Asian/Pacific Islander is the second most predominant group. Population growth rates between 1980-1990 in San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties were slightly less than that of California as a whole; San Luis Obispo's growth rate was greater than that of California as a whole (ABAG 1994a, AMBAG 1994, San Luis Obispo Council of Governments 1995).

Major population centers include Daly City and San Mateo in San Mateo County, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley and Watsonville in Santa Cruz County, Salinas and the greater Monterey area in Monterey County, and San Luis Obispo and Atascadero in San Luis Obispo County (ABAG 1994b).

The top three job categories in 1991-1993 for all counties in terms of number of people employed were services, retail trade, and government. Services ranked first in all counties, followed by either government or retail (ABAG 1994a, AMBAG 1994, San Luis Obispo Council of Governments 1995).

B. MBNMS-dependent industries

Industries dependent upon MBNMS resources are led by tourism, fisheries, shipping, and harbors, found throughout the 348 miles of land bordering MBNMS (nearly a third of the California coastline). While no socioeconomic data have been compiled specifically for the MBNMS, state and federal resource agencies periodically profile coastal industries in the state and in coastal counties, often in response to legislative mandates (Resources Agency 1995, CA State Lands Commission 1994, NOAA 1992, Meyer Resources 1990). MBNMS- specific profiles can to a limited extent be drawn from these studies; however, the onerous quantity of variables and data required for these estimates usually limit them to a 1-year snapshot rather than a picture of long-term trends, and as these estimates vary somewhat depending on the criteria used (such as geographic area, time frame, and indirect effects included) they must be interpreted with caution.

icon The State Resources Agency estimated that in 1992 ocean-dependent industries accounted for 370,000 jobs and directly and indirectly contributed over $17.3 billion to California's economy. These figures are not readily available for specific counties. Across the state, the most lucrative sectors were tourism and recreation followed by commercial fishing, oil and gas production, and port activities (shipping and harbors). In MBNMS counties, tourism and recreation (including fishing and boating), commercial fishing, and port activities were the most lucrative sectors (Resources Agency 1995).

Ocean-dependent industries of the four major MBNMS coastal counties are reviewed below in order of economic contribution (Figure 2). Unless otherwise noted, MBNMS coastal counties include San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Luis Obispo. Marin and San Francisco counties were excluded due to their relatively small contribution to the total MBNMS coastline.

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Reviewed: April 11, 2024
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