The Surfrider Foundation has launched an online survey to capture spatial and economic data on coastal and ocean recreational use in the states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. Members of the public can take the survey by visiting this link: www.surfrider.org/mid-atlantic-recreation.
The survey is collecting data on recreational uses such as beach going, ocean swimming, diving, surfing, and kayaking. The survey is not covering recreational fishing or boating as other studies are covering those uses.
“A large segment of the population participates in this type of recreation, but we lack basic information about their habits. Without this data, recreational users could be left behind when it comes to management decisions”, said Matt Gove, the Mid-Atlantic Policy Manager for Surfrider Foundation.
The data from this survey will be included in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal, an online spatial data depository created by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) and used for regional ocean planning. Regional ocean planning, a process which has just begun in the Mid-Atlantic, will be a chance for all user groups to contribute to a vision of how our coastal and ocean resources should be managed.
“Knowing what’s important to the recreation sector will help us make better ocean planning decisions and ensure that we maximize both sustainable economic activity and ocean health,” said Laura McKay, Director of the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program and MARCO Management Board member.
The survey will be online until the end of December 2013. Other partners in the study include The Nature Conservancy, Monmouth University, and Ecotrust, in close collaboration with MARCO.
If you've recreated on the Mid-Atlantic coast in the last 12 months, please take a few minutes to participate in the survey!