Boaters Bring in Big Bucks for the Buckeye State

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Boating brings big business to Ohio. A new study shows the state’s boating industry produced an economic impact of $6.4 billion in 2022. According to the study, published by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Parks and Watercraft, the boating industry also accounted for 45,856 jobs.

“The boating industry lifts up the economy for local communities all across Ohio,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “The boost ripples out from the water and into local business, while supporting jobs all along the shores, from marinas and boat dealers on the coast, to restaurants and hotels further inland.”

The study was conducted through a survey of nearly 10,000 boating households and over 200 marine trade businesses.

Other boating habits revealed through the survey:

  • In 2022, people spent 315 million hours boating in Ohio
  • Fishing accounts for 33.6% of all boating time
  • Women are the primary boat operators of 24.3% of all non-motorized boats and 5.4% of all motorized boats

Economic impact is measured by calculating direct, indirect, and induced effects of spending on boating-related products and activities. Contributions from both recreational boating and the marine trades were calculated in this study. Recreational boating contributed $3.66 billion and 25,476 jobs, while $2.75 billion and 20,380 jobs are attributed to the marine trades industry.

The 2022 Economic Impact and Customer Satisfaction Study in its entirety is available here.


The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft provides exceptional outdoor recreation and boating opportunities by balancing outstanding customer service, education, and conservation of Ohio’s 75 state parks and waterways. ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at