MOSAC-03-01 Measuring the Economic Damages from Oil Spills to Maine’s Marine Economy

Jonathan Rubin
Margaret Chase Smith Center for Public Policy

University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469

Deirdre Mageean
University of Maine

Orono, ME 04469

Kevin Boyle
Dept. of Resource Economics & Policy

University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469

The port of Portland, located in the southern part of Maine, is the third largest crude oil port on the East Coast. Searsport in Penobscot Bay (midcoast) and Eastport in Cobscook Bay (downeast) are also significant ports of entry for oil shipments. As such, the risk of an oil spill extends over Maine’s entire coast. Oil that spreads through the marine environment can result in very severe ecological and economic damages, especially to the coastal tourism industry. Determining losses from oil spills is very difficult due to both methodological and data problems.

Through this multi-year project, researchers will lay the groundwork (data, methodology, record keeping) to enhance Maine’s ability to evaluate the full economic impact of oil spills, both small and large, on recreation and tourism.

2-year project, 2003-2005
Year 1: $17,753
Year 2: $29,768
Total: $47,521