Ocean Protection, Marine Spatial Planning
November 21 2014

Surfrider Launches Northeast Recreation Survey

by Pete Stauffer

The Surfrider Foundation, in partnership with Point 97 and SeaPlan and under the direction of the Northeast Regional Planning Body, has launched a recreational use survey for anyone 18+ years old who has visited the New England coast at least once in 2014.

“The data collected in this survey will allow us to identify spatial information for recreational uses in the Northeast,” says Melissa Gates, Surfrider Foundation’s Northeast Regional Manager.  “As demands on our coastal and marine areas grow, this data will be integral to planning for the health of the ocean and recreational areas.”

The Surfrider Foundation is collecting information from recreational users through this survey from November 13, 2014 to midnight on April 30, 2015.  Information collected will include where and how people recreate along New England’s coast, including beach going, wildlife viewing, surfing and non-motorized boating.  

Register to take the survey: http://bit.ly/NE_Rec!

The online survey results will be published in a final report and spatial data layers will be incorporated into the Northeast Ocean Data Portal, to assist the Northeast Regional Planning Body with the ocean planning process.  This information will also be combined in the portal with data being collected from recreational industries including commercial whale watching, diving, and marine events. 

“Any successful ocean planning effort relies on science-based, credible information about our ocean uses and natural resources, collected through tools like this recreational use survey.  By better understanding the regional nature of ocean activities, habitat, marine life and ocean processes, we can work together to make more informed decisions about how we manage the ocean here in New England,” says Betsy Nicholson from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and federal co-lead of the Northeast Regional Planning Body.

Coastal recreation is widely practiced throughout the United States, but little data exists on what activities people participate in, where these uses occur, and the related economic benefits. To address this need the Surfrider Foundation, and its partner Point 97, a leader in technology solutions for ocean and coastal management, are involved in similar studies across the coastal U.S., including a completed effort in the state of Oregon as well as the Mid-Atlantic region, and a recently launched study in Washington State.  More, here: http://www.surfrider.org/pages/coastal-recreation-studies/.  SeaPlan has also been engaged in characterization studies, like this motorized boater use project: http://www.seaplan.org/project/2012-northeast-recreational-boater-survey/.

To learn more about Surfrider Foundation’s Northeast regional ocean planning efforts and the Northeast Recreation Survey, visit: http://bit.ly/NE_Study.  Learn even more here: http://bit.ly/NE_OceanPlanning.

For more information and to learn about opportunities to help promote participation in this study, contact Melissa Gates at 207-706-6378 or via email at mgates@surfrider.org