The Nature of Change: Winter 2018
Maryland is abundant with natural, cultural, historical and recreational resources that contribute significantly to our economy and quality of life. My administration is committed to doing everything we can to expand opportunities for our citizens and visitors to appreciate all that our state has to offer, and to create and grow economic opportunities for all Marylanders.
That’s why I recently signed an executive order creating the Maryland Outdoor Recreational Economic Commission. This commission will be responsible for developing strategies and making recommendations to strengthen the state’s outdoor recreation industry and help ensure increased investment in our state’s outdoor recreation resources.
The outdoor recreation economy in Maryland already generates 109,000 direct jobs, $14 billion in consumer spending, $4.4 billion in wages and salaries, and $951 million in tax revenue. Investment in outdoor recreation and nature and heritage-based tourism economies support many outdoor activities in Maryland, including boating, biking, camping, fishing, hiking, horse-back riding, hunting, paddling, swimming, wildlife-viewing and much, much more.
As part of their work, the commission will develop innovative strategies to market Maryland’s unique outdoor and heritage recreation brand, as well as recommend initiatives to grow and attract new companies and partnerships. Additionally, the commission will explore ways to retain and support Maryland’s existing outdoor recreation businesses.
The commission will be co-chaired by Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton and Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. With my approval, the co-chairs will appoint 17 members, including representatives of companies within Maryland’s outdoor recreation, manufacturing and retail industries; representatives of small businesses in the outdoor or heritage recreation sectors; nonprofit organizations; representatives of gateway communities, cities or towns; and legislators.
This commission will provide a final report to me. Their work will help strengthen our state’s natural heritage by bringing new business opportunities, increased visitation and tourism and ultimately enhancing and preserving our cherished resources now and into the future.