UF/IFAS Florida Sea Grant survey seeks boater input

Posted 1/18/24

Florida Sea Grant wants to hear from boaters to gauge their understanding of...

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UF/IFAS Florida Sea Grant survey seeks boater input

Sailboats on the St. John’s River.
Sailboats on the St. John’s River.
Photo courtesy UF/IFAS Photography

Florida Sea Grant wants to hear from boaters to gauge their understanding of boating activities and practices.

More specifically, they want to know what and where additional sewage disposal resources are needed from boaters while traveling the waterways of the Sunshine State through an online survey. This survey, also available in Spanish, is for anyone who boats in Florida for recreation only, regardless of whether they own or rent a watercraft.

The survey is estimated to take about 10 minutes or less to complete. No personal information is collected, and participation is voluntary. There are no direct risks to participating in this survey, and participants will not receive any compensation from the University of Florida.

The survey is part of a larger needs assessment that aims to determine the recreational boating community’s current level of knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, regarding sewage waste management.

To participate in the survey, visit https://ufl.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_88OXbk0rju5ptnU

Boats anchored in Biscayne Bay.
Boats anchored in Biscayne Bay.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Sunshine State leads the nation in the number of registered recreational watercraft vessels, surpassing the 1 million mark since 2022. Florida’s recreational boating industry generates $33.3 billion in annual economic impact, or about 14% of the nation’s $230 billion, according to estimates by the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

More people in Florida’s waterways means keeping them clean and free of sewage and debris requiring more services, information and tools for boaters. Conducted in collaboration with local counties, cities, marinas, yacht clubs, boating groups, organizations and other partners, the assessment will help identify the sewage disposal norms and practices to ultimately improve programs that will better serve the boating community.

Data collection for this study will be completed by June 2024 or earlier, depending on participation rates. Once all data is collected, the results will be compiled in a report. It is expected, but not guaranteed, that the report will be available by September 2024. The report will be published on Florida Sea Grant’s Clean Boating webpage.

For questions about your rights as a research participant, you may contact the University of Florida Institutional Review Board at P.O. Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611 or 352-392-0433. If you have questions about this survey, you may contact Florida Sea Grant at 352-562-1134 or by e-mail at v.gambale@ufl.edu .

boating, UF/IFAS, sea grant, boats, input, resources