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Shenandoah Riverkeeper Talks About How Jobs Are Tied to Clean Water
“We are always looking for what the river needs, and that's what we do. Whatever it is.”
Jeff Kelble talks about what the Shenandoah means to him, his family and his neighbors. He also talks about how poor water quality in the Shenandoah was an economic problem for him and his new business. There might be some who would view this as only an anecdote by one person as to how pollution can have a negative economic impact. But the facts and the economics are much more real and widespread. Polluting the streams and rivers of Virginia would be an economic disaster. Freshwater fishing in Virginia is worth over a billion dollars every year ($1.27 billion) -- and that is in 2006 dollars.
Freshwater anglers spend $415 million every year on direct expenditures for fishing trips -- food and lodging, equipment, transportation, etc. In addition, angler spending generates $854 million for the economy of Virginia on related sales, salaries and wages and tax revenue. These astounding economic numbers are for freshwater fishing only -- they do not include the thriving sport fishing economy of the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore.
Jeff Kelble is one small voice, and one small story in how the economy and the health of Virginia and Virginians can be tied to clean water.