In a new report from the National Park Service, almost 3 million people walked, boated, bird-watched or were dragged by a parent to one of the four national parks and reserves in South Florida: Big Cypress, Biscayne National, Dry Tortugas and Everglades.
Big Cypress National Preserve saw just over a million people, the most out of the four parks, but it was visitors to Everglades National who dumped the largest amount of money into the local economy -- about $104 million. This is money people spent in restaurants and on gas, souvenirs and hotels.
Across the South Florida parks, the report estimates there was more than $231 million of total economic impact, money that generally would not have been spent had it not been for the national parks.
According to the report, visitors to South Florida's national parks supported almost 3,400 jobs.
Across the country, visitors to national parks spent almost $16 billion in local communities.