SOURCE: Surfrider Foundation

Surfrider Foundation

August 12, 2014 09:03 ET

The Surfrider Foundation Releases Recreational Use Data for the Mid-Atlantic Coast

BROOKLYN, NY--(Marketwired - August 12, 2014) - Today, the Surfrider Foundation (Surfrider.org), a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world's oceans, waves and beaches, in partnership with Point 97, The Nature Conservancy and Monmouth University's Urban Coast Institute, and collaboration with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO), unveiled the results of a recreational use study conducted along the Mid-Atlantic coast.

The study reveals that the Mid-Atlantic coast is used extensively by the public for a variety of recreational activities, including beach going, surfing, kayaking, swimming, and wildlife viewing. These activities generate significant economic benefits for coastal communities and the region, through hotel visits, shopping, dining and other trip-related expenditures.

"This study fills an important gap in our understanding of recreation in the Mid-Atlantic," says Matt Gove, the Mid-Atlantic Policy Manager for the Surfrider Foundation. "As demands on coastal and ocean areas grow, this data will be integral to protecting recreational use of our coast for the future."

The Surfrider Foundation collected information from recreational users through an online survey between July and December of 2013. The survey included a mapping tool that allowed participants to mark locations of recreational use along the Mid-Atlantic coast. More than 300 recreational groups and businesses throughout the region were contacted, and respondents completed nearly 1,500 surveys resulting in over 22,000 data points.

Overall, the Mid-Atlantic respondents spent an average of $71.06 per coastal visit on things such as accommodation, transportation and food. Below are fact sheets summarizing study findings for each state. 

The most popular recreational activities included (in order) general beach going, scenic enjoyment, biking or hiking, photography, surfing, and beachcombing. The extensive geographic use and activity participation reported, demonstrates the popularity and breadth of recreation along the mid-Atlantic coast.

For more information about Surfrider Foundation's recreational use study program, please visit: http://bit.ly/RecStudies

"MARCO appreciates the time and effort that the Surfrider Foundation and survey participants dedicated to this initiative. Understanding where recreational activities occur in the region can help us better manage our ocean and coastal resources," says Kris Ohleth, Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO).

Maps of the data can be found on the MARCO Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal and will be available for use by the public as well as regional ocean planning.

Regional ocean planning, a process which recently began in the Mid-Atlantic, is a collaborative process that will help guide resource conservation and economic development by facilitating information sharing, fostering collaboration, and improving decision-making about a growing number of ocean uses vying for ocean resources and space.

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, Surfrider and Point 97, a leader in technology solutions for ocean and coastal management, are conducting similar studies across the U.S., including a completed effort in Oregon and a recently launched study in Washington State.

Matt Gove is the Mid-Atlantic Policy Manager for the Surfrider Foundation. Gove has worked in coastal management for more than six years with organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Ocean Service and New York's Department of Environmental Conservation. He holds a Masters in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University. Contact Matt directly at 952-250-4545 or mgove@surfrider.org.

Katie Ferguson, Surfrider Foundation Communications Manager, 949-212-3335 or kferguson@surfrider.org 

About Point 97

Point 97 is a high-tech subsidiary of Ecotrust, delivering impact technology solutions and engagement strategies for coastal and marine planning in regions around the world. Working to improve marine and coastal management practices, Point 97 helps partners and clients strengthen coastal communities and ocean ecosystems, bridge different ocean user perspectives and implement management decisions in an inclusive and transparent way. Learn more at pointnineseven.com.

About Surfrider Foundation

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world's oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 250,000 supporters, activists and members worldwide. For more information on the Surfrider Foundation, visit surfrider.org.

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