The marine resources of the United States provide vast economic returns on investments. As illustrated by the graph below, the gross domestic product from industries that depend on the oceans far exceeds federal expenditures for ocean and coastal management by agencies such as the Department of Commerce, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of the Interior. In the current economy, it is important to make fiscally responsible choices. Investment in ocean and coastal management programs is just that. Cutting funding to ocean and coastal management programs jeopardizes nearly $250 billion in economic returns.