Boater Characterization Study
Collier County's Coastal Zone Management Department, University of Florida Sea Grant Program and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute are partnering to implement a multi-phased two year recreational boater study. This study will help bridge the gap of missing information that accurately describes the recreation boating use of estuarine and coastal waters such as facilities, traffic patterns, activities, preferred water-access points and destinations. This will provide a science based approach to coastal resource management and also considers the concern and needs of recreation boaters.
Questionnaires asking boaters to describe their boating habits, travel patterns and preferences for using local waterways and infrastructure will be mailed in three seasonal waves. Maps will be provided for boaters to trace the paths of their two most recent trips and include open ended questions for them to express their concerns and desires for future waterway management actions. Returned questionnaires are tabulated into a geographic information system and the results are turned into maps that are compared with maps of waterways, infrastructure, natural resources and management zones.
The boating study will have several practical applications for waterway management decisions and will help address several boating issues within the county. Specifically it will help mangers and community leaders address boating access, waterway maintenance, congestion hot spots, potential user conflicts and safety management, resource protection and education needs within the county. The baseline data collected can also improve the county’s chances of acquiring future funding for the creation and or maintenance of county boat ramps and artificial reefs.
For more details on the recreation boater characterization study contact:
Chris D'arco, Collier County Senior Environmental Specialist (239) 252-2980
Bryan Fluech, Collier Sea Grant Extension Agent (239)417-6310 x 204