Surfrider to spearhead coastal and ocean recreation studies
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 10 February, 2015 - Each year, millions of Americans visit the coast, generating billions of dollars in related expenditures. The Surfrider Foundation believes management decisions about new development cannot be made without considering the consequences to the coast and the users and businesses that depend upon it.
For example, proposed oil drilling off the Mid- and South Atlantic will have major implications for marine ecosystems, the natural beauty and the wild life that surrounds them, coastal businesses and the more than 123 million people (39% of the population) who inhabit coastal shoreline counties in the United States. The federal government must consider these impacts in its ongoing evaluation processes.
To address this need, the Surfrider Foundation is leading coastal and ocean recreation studies around the nation. Conducted with the support of government agencies, these studies are collecting data on what activities people participate in, where these uses occur, and the related economic benefits.
Understanding how people use and enjoy these special coastal places will inform and guide important regional planning efforts, says Pete Stauffer, the Surfrider Foundations Senior Ocean Manager.
To date, the Surfrider Foundation and partner Point 97, a leader in technology solutions for ocean and coastal management, have completed recreational use studies in Oregon and the Mid-Atlantic. More recently, Surfrider has launched studies in Washington State and New England. These studies collect data from recreational users on non-consumptive activities such as beach going, surfing, kayaking, diving, and wildlife viewing. Study results include spatial data (e.g., maps) and economic impact data.
People who form a strong bond with a special coastal place, or several, whether it is for a surf break or to simply enjoy its natural beauty, are encouraged to get involved and learn the issues that could destroy these places.