Assessing the Economic Significance of a Public Pier and Boat Launch in Maine

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Between 2004 and 2008, two improvement projects occurred upstream from the Milbridge public pier and boat launch, contributing to a rapid accumulation of sediment at the pier and rendering it unusable in mid- to low-water conditions. To help justify spending to mitigate this issue, the Town of Milbridge, Maine, conducted an analysis of the socioeconomic benefits these structures provide to the community and local marine industries.


The Town of Milbridge obtained Shore and Harbor Management funding from the Maine Coastal Program to conduct an analysis of the rapid sedimentation of the local pier and boat launch. Part of this funding was dedicated to assessing the socioeconomic impact this closure had on the community and marine industries. The study used NOAA’s Economics: National Ocean Watch (ENOW) framework, as presented in the Estimating the Local Marine Economy training, and supplemental self-employment data from the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program to estimate the economic significance of the pier and boat launch in various marine sectors—and how that estimate compares to the rest of the Maine coastline.


After analyzing employment and landings data, the study concluded that the living-resources and ship- and boat-building sectors were greatly affected by the closure of this pier, and that these impacts were more significant in the area served by the Milbridge pier than other parts of coastal Maine. Along with supplemental self-employment data and local knowledge, this study provided the Town of Milbridge with information on the closure’s potential economic impacts on local marine industries. (2019)

The Town of Milbridge, Maine used the ENOW Explorer conducted an analysis of the socioeconomic benefits of the local pier and boat launch
This image shows the buildup of sediment surrounding the Milbridge boat ramp, rendering it unusable for local businesses and community members.

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