Who Are You?

New survey seeks to answer this question and more for boaters in the Northeast…

Survey for Northeast Boaters
If you are reading this article on NortheastBoater.com, there’s a pretty good chance you boat in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island or New Hampshire. But where, exactly, do you boat? What do you see out on the water? What do you do on the water? What boating accessories do you buy? Do you fish? If you enjoy the coastal waters of most of New England or New York, your input on questions like these is being requested to help shape the future of boating in the region.

Earlier this spring, a sample of 68,000 boat owners in the Northeast received invitations to participate in a survey that will document saltwater recreational boating routes and define boaters’ contribution to state economies. 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 two years ago.

Each month from June to October, researchers will ask 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 so economists can determine the overall contribution of recreational boaters’ spending to state and regional economies. Sponsors (including Northeast Boater’s partner Boat Name Gear) have provided incentive prizes for participants, including a grand prize drawing of $5,000.

If you didn’t receive an invitation in the mail, you can still participate – a separate volunteer survey will be available in a few weeks at www.neboatersurvey.org.

SeaPlan survey manager Kim Starbuck says boaters are eager to participate. “I have talked with many boaters who want to make sure that important recreational boating areas and routes are known when coastal management decisions are made.”  Starbuck adds, “Our partnership with the boating industry, state coastal management programs and private foundations will result in a valuable information resource for coastal planners and the boating community.”

SeaPlan, an independent nonprofit organization, is partnering with several organizations to make this survey possible, including the Northeast Regional Ocean Council, the Connecticut DEEP, the NY Department of State, the University of Massachusetts, and many others. In the interest of full disclosure, NortheastBoater.com is an Outreach Partner of this program.