Secretary of the Interior and real-life cowboy Ryan Zinke announced Tuesday that he would no longer consider leasing Florida’s coastal waters to oil and gas companies, after discussing state officials’ environmental tourism concerns with Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Zinke told reporters just five days ago that the Trump administration plants to open about 90 percent of the country’s coastal reserves for oil drilling by 2024.
Zinke’s Tuesday announcement was a jarring departure from the administration’s original plan, not the least because Florida is not the only coastal state that rakes in billions of dollars annually from coastal tourism revenue (nor is it the only coastal state recovering from a devastating hurricane).
Coastal states in the Gulf of Mexico, in fact, generate over $100 billion every year from ocean-related tourism—a figure that completely excludes revenue from money-makers like commercial fishing or marine transportation. Washington, meanwhile, earns about $3.4 billion annually from marine tourism. California alone earns $17.6 billion per year from coastal tourism, and 75 percent of the jobs in California’s ocean economy come from the tourism industry.
Here is a list of all the coastal states that earn zero dollars annually from marine tourism: