The organizers of a Northeastern boating study are looking for volunteers to help determine how waterways are being used and the economic contribution of boating to the region.
SeaPlan is partnering with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, the Northeast Regional Ocean Council, the boating industry, the University of Massachusetts and other state coastal management programs to conduct a 2012 Northeast Recreational Boater Survey as part of its efforts to advance ocean planning in the region, according to SeaPlan’s website.
The survey will document saltwater boating routes and define boaters' contribution to state and regional economies.
In May, 68,000 randomly selected boat owners from Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York were to receive an invitation in the mail requesting participation in the survey.
Each month, researchers will ask participating boaters to log on to an easy-to-use 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 during their trip.
Boaters also will be asked how much money they spent on boating-related activities and will be eligible for prizes offered by sponsors that include the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association and Grady-White.
Boaters who do not receive an invitation in the mail are encouraged to participate in a separate volunteer survey.