Q: Who is doing the survey?
A: The Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) is conducting the survey to enhance their online mapping tool, the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal, to support ocean planning. On June 4, 2009, the Governors of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia agreed to address regional ocean management challenges by signing the Mid-Atlantic Governors' Agreement on Ocean Conservation. They committed to regional collaboration to advance goals to protect our ocean and coast.
Q: What is this survey about?
A: This survey will collect data from thousands of recreational saltwater boaters from the Mid-Atlantic States of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia throughout a course of six months (May-October). New York's recreational boater data has already been collected in the 2012 Northeast Recreational Boater Survey. The surveys will inquire about when, where, how often, and activities of boating trips. The information will be used to produce spatial maps to enhance the MARCO's online mapping tool, the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal, and help support ocean planning.
Q: What is involved in taking the survey?
A: After being invited to the survey through an invitation mailed to your home residence, monthly questionnaires will be sent to you via e-mail. The questionnaires will focus on your last boating excursion.
Q: Why is the survey being undertaken?
A: Our Ocean is filled with natural resources and teeming with activity. These activities and new developments of ocean uses are ever increasing and developing. To minimize conflict and maximize efficiency, MARCO is developing an online mapping tool to support ocean planning in the Mid-Atlantic region. Recreational data is a prominent activity in the ocean, but is poorly mapped and has limited data. To ensure the interests and safety of recreational boaters are considered in ocean management plans, up-to-date- and informative data must be collected.
Q: Why should I participate?
A: Your help is needed to ensure your favorite areas for boating activities are considered in ocean management and planning. Also, by participating in the survey, you will be eligible to win prizes every month of the survey. Your participation is vital and greatly appreciated, but if you would like to stop participating, then you can withdrawal at any time. Furthermore, no personal information will be made available to others.
Q: How was I selected?
A: Participants were randomly chosen from either state boat registration databases provided by New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia or from the United States Coast Guard documented vessel database.
Q: I own multiple boats. Why was I asked to answer questions based on my smallest boat? Can I report on other boats that I own?
A: The methodology of the survey is to randomly select boats that represent the larger population of boats. We are only looking for information based on the chosen boat specified in the survey.
Q: Has this been done before?
A: Yes, a recreational boater survey was successfully completed in Massachusetts in 2010. The report can be found at www.neboatersurvey.org. Also, SeaPlan, an independent nonprofit organization, is currently conducting the 2012 Northeast Recreational Boater Survey. Information about the survey can be found at recreation.seaplan.org.