Last week, a dozen U.S. Senators sent a letter to the chamber’s leadership urging them to include support for outdoor recreation and public land infrastructure jobs in the next COVID-19 relief package, drawing praise from National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). In the letter, the Senators note that more investment is needed in order to bring back jobs lost as outdoor recreation has decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our nation’s outdoor economy is hurting. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, which measured COVID-19 impacts on small businesses, 75 percent of small businesses in the category that includes outdoor recreation are struggling due to the crisis,” wrote the Senators. “The outdoor tourism and recreation industry, which employs 5.2 million American workers (3.4% of total U.S. employment), accounts for 2.2% of GDP, and generates $778 billion in economic output, has gone from one of the fastest-growing sectors of our economy (3.9% annual growth) to experiencing record unemployment. Not only does outdoor recreation serve as an outlet for individuals to enjoy natural spaces, especially during this pandemic, but it also creates opportunities to create jobs, stimulate the travel and tourism economy, and support public health.”
Led by Senator Jackey Rosen (D-NV), the letter was also signed by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Udall (D-NM), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR). NMMA thanks all Senators for their leadership on this issue and calls on all members of Congress to support the initiative.