New Survey Invites Boat Owners to Inform Ocean Management in
Starting this spring, SeaPlan is partnering with the Northeast Regional Ocean Council, the boating industry, the University of Massachusetts and state coastal management programs to conduct the 2012 Northeast Recreational Boater Survey that will document saltwater recreational boating routes and define boaters’ contribution to state and regional economies. In May, 68,000 randomly selected boat owners from ME, NH, MA, RI, CT and NY will receive an invitation in the mail requesting participation in the survey. Each month, researchers will ask participating boaters to log onto a mapping website where they can draw their last boating trip on an interactive navigation chart and include information about fishing, wildlife viewing or other activities they did during their trip. Boaters will also be asked how much money they spent on various boating-related activities. Sponsors have provided incentive prizes for participants, including a grand prize of $5,000. Boaters that do not receive an invitation in the mail are encouraged to participate in a separate volunteer survey.
Survey results will help coastal planners consider recreational boating activity during ocean planning and when reviewing proposals for new coastal and offshore development projects. Boaters and the boating industry can also use the survey results to show the importance of recreational boating and to inform business planning. This survey will build off the successes of the Massachusetts Recreational Boater Survey which thousands of boaters participated in during the 2010 boating season. See the complete list of partners and participate in the volunteer survey at www.neboatersurvey.org.