Weldon's idea as "The Rockfish Capital of the World" fits perfectly into the “top five destination states in terms of days of fishing by nonresidents” which are North Carolina, Minnesota, Florida, Wisconsin and New York.
Second, “Fishing is one of the most popular forms of outdoor recreation in the United States (Cordell et al.1999). Estimates of the rate of participation and number of persons 16 years and older participating range from 17% or 35.2 million to 29% or 57.9 million (USDOI and USDOC 1997; Cordell et al.1999).”
“Reasons for the popularity of fishing other outdoor activities include its relatively low cost and lack of physical demands. Nationally, there were 29.6 million paid fishing license holders in 1999, up slightly from 1997 (29.3 million) (ASA 2001).”
“Tourism is the third largest retail industry (behind automotive and food) in the United States, generating an estimated $502 billion in expenditures in 1997. Tourism is either the first, second, or third largest employer in 32 states.”
Finally, sports fishing can help to reduce poverty in Weldon, that’s if the community gets hooked on Weldon’s future in community development plans and interact with local leaders and get involved in volunteering and attending Town Hall, Community Watch and STEP Committee Meetings.
The term "if" is a small word but carries a huge weight that pertains to taking responsibility, accountability and other necessary conditions that will challenge most of us living in the Weldon community.
This resident/participating ethnography researcher/writer believes that a community that prays together, works together and shares their voices together will indeed progress together and reap benefits. Now is the time to let OUR voices to be heard beginning this spring and commit to attend more Weldon meeting and events that will lead to quality of life and prosperity.
The word "We" is another powerful word that carries a huge weight and outweighs words like "them, they" that create social negative attitudes, detached behavior, division and separatism. We are in the same pot of soup together. So we need to BELIEVE that WE can do this together!