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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: May 10, 2012
CONTACT: Christian Williams, Coastal Program, 603-559-0025, christian.williams@des.nh.gov
Kim Starbuck, SeaPlan survey manager, 617-737-2600 ext. 102, kstarbuck@seaplan.org

Boaters Watch Your Mailboxes - New Survey Invites Boat Owners to Inform Ocean Management in the Northeast

The 2012 Northeast Recreational Boater Survey will collect information on boating routes and economic activity from boaters in NH, ME, MA, RI, CT and NY.

Portsmouth, N.H. – This May, 68,000 boat owners in the Northeast, including New Hampshire, will receive 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.

SeaPlan, an independent nonprofit organization, is partnering with the Northeast Regional Ocean Council, the boating industry, the University of Massachusetts, and state coastal management programs to conduct this survey. The DES Coastal Program is helping get the word out about this important survey.

Boaters and the boating industry will be able to 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 during the 2010 boating season.

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 have provided incentive prizes for participants, including a grand prize drawing of $5,000. Boaters that do not receive an invitation in the mail are encouraged to participate in a separate volunteer survey 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."

See the complete list of sponsors and partners at www.neboatersurvey.org.

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