Maryland’s Office of Outdoor Recreation recently welcomed colleagues from the Confluence of States, a nationwide bipartisan organization focused on the growth of the outdoor recreation industry, for a collaborative meeting in Annapolis. The event included working sessions on education and workforce training, natural resource stewardship, and opportunities for nationwide expansion.
During the meeting, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Josh Kurtz praised the partnership between the Confluence of States, Office of Outdoor Recreation, and the Maryland Departments of Natural Resources and Commerce, stating that “This partnership raises awareness of all our state has to offer and will help provide Marylanders with outdoor opportunities for years to come.”
Maryland’s Office of Outdoor Recreation, established in 2021 to support and enhance outdoor recreation opportunities and their economic benefits, joined the Confluence in 2022. The outdoor recreation industry in Maryland generates 71,886 direct jobs, $6.6 billion in consumer spending, $3.6 billion in wages and salaries, and $6.5 billion in added value to the state.
The meeting also included a scenic boat ride along the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay to showcase Maryland’s unique outdoor opportunities. The Confluence of States met prior to attending the 2023 Cap Summit in Washington, hosted by the Outdoor Industry Association, to enhance the outdoor recreation industry on a national level.
According to Executive Director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation Daryl Anthony, “Bringing the Confluence of States to Maryland allowed us to host industry leaders and advance Maryland’s stewardship, conservation, and dedication to the growth of our outdoor industry. Sharing ideas among other states can only help to improve and expand the outdoor recreational opportunities that we provide to Marylanders.”
The Confluence of States is dedicated to the growth of the outdoor recreation industry in the United States and promotes collaboration among states. The organization consists of outdoor recreation offices and industry representatives from across the country.
Maryland’s partnership with the Confluence of States is one example of how states can work together to expand outdoor recreation opportunities and their economic benefits. With a growing recognition of the importance of outdoor recreation, these types of partnerships are likely to continue to develop across the country.