The Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy (IRLEE) at the University of Michigan is working in collaboration with the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to conduct an economic impact study based on the presence of the NMSAS in American Samoa. The NMSAS seeks to 1) understand the effect it has on the local economic environment and 2) use the recommendations from this study to produce a stronger and more positive influence.
The study involves two phases of work, the first of which is detailed cultural, environmental and economic background research on the region and development of research instruments. The second phase will entail original data collection through surveys of residents, business leaders, and visitors to American Samoa. The background research informs the survey instruments and data collection methods so that the study can produce a more nuanced understanding of the economic impact of the NMSAS on American Samoa.