By Dave Kellam, SeaPlan Communications Manager, dkellam [at] seaplan.org
Kids quake in their beds with covers over their heads because their parents told them the Boogeyman will take them away if they don’t go to sleep. That fear of an unknown menace sticks with people and it can be a big challenge to overcome. Even in ocean planning.
This summer SeaPlan designed and conducted an extensive ocean use characterization study of recreational saltwater boaters from Maine to New York. The goal was to collect scientifically sound spatial data on recreational boating activity and estimate the economic impact of recreational boating in the region. The impetus for the work was a data gap identified by the Northeast Regional Ocean Council, but leaders in the boating industry also recognized the need for science-based, stakeholder-informed data.