St. Petersburg’s Marine and Environmental Sciences business cluster is an emerging economic engine that has flourished by capitalizing on the city’s setting between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It is also home to some of the most highly-visible marine science research institutes and organizations that have earned international acclaim for their research and documented discoveries.
This business cluster is comprised of public and private non-profit agencies, such as NOAA, University of South Florida (USF) College of Marine Science, SRI-St. Petersburg, United States Geological Service (USGS), and the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) that are devoted to marine and environmental research in Florida, the Caribbean, and throughout the world.
The cluster is anchored by a collective unit, known as the St. Petersburg Ocean Team, the premier consortium of marine science, oceanographic, and environmental research agencies and institutions in the Southeastern United States.SP Ocean Team
Primarily located in the downtown Bayboro Harbor district, the Ocean Team employs more than 1,600 people whose spending generates an additional 1,800 employees through direct, indirect, and induced effects, leading to a total impact of $251 million in gross county product.
The Ocean’s Team network includes organizations such as; educational institutions, governmental agencies (local, state, federal), for-profit and non-profit businesses and entities, which span well beyond its Bayboro Harbor boundaries.
During the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill, which spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, USF’s College of Marine Science, and Ocean Team affiliates, were thrust into the international spotlight where they addressed the U.S. Congress on the spill’s environmental impacts. To this day, the scientists continue to be sought as leading voices on scientific challenges worldwide.
Marine and Environmental Sciences touts an average wage of $58,410, nearly $20,000 more than the average wage in Pinellas County, and contributes to $143 million in personal income.
The foreseen growth of the Marine and Environmental Sciences business cluster and its auxiliary entities within the region, will mean that similar firms in related industries will continue to proliferate, seeking to capitalize on technology transfer and research commercialization - locating nearby and growing a specialized workforce. www.spoceanteam.org
Notable institutions include: SRI International, University of South Florida College of Marine Science, Center for Ocean Technology, Florida Institute of Oceanographic Research, International Oceanic Institute, Tampa Bay Estuary, United States Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Geological Survey Center of Coastal Geology and Regional Commission, The Pier Aquarium, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission-Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Center for Marine Conservation
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