Watershed and fish habitat restoration jobs provide benefits for more than just fish and wildlife, according to Ecotrust. These projects created 6,483 jobs in the state from 2001–2010 and generated $977.5 million in economic activity over that same time period, according to the Portland-based nonprofit, which works on a variety of environmental and restoration projects and programs. That economic benefit works out to an average of about $98 million a year.
Plant nurseries and landscapers were listed as among the businesses and professionals who benefitted. Others included construction workers, heavy equipment operators, engineers, wildlife biologists and quarries. “Habitat restoration jobs pay dividends twice,” said Eric Schwaab, an assistant administrator with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “First, in creating good, local jobs immediately, and then, for many decades to come, through increased benefits from fisheries, tourism and resiliency for coastal communities.”