Collier County faces the difficult yet critical challenge of sustaining economic viability while maintaining the integrity of its coastal environmental resources. Waterway access improvements and recreational boating needs figure prominently within this multifaceted challenge. To meet the challenge, the County recognizes the need for pertinent and accurate information concerning on-water activities that is obtained using the best technology and scientific methods. To accomplish this undertaking, the Florida Sea Grant CollegeProgram in conjunction with the Florida Fish and WildlifeConservation Commission, Collier County's Coastal Zone Management Department, and the University of Florida CollierCounty Cooperative Extension Program conducted a recreational boating characterization study from 2008 through 2009.
The goals of the study were to:
1)Determine the preferences, activities, and needs of boaters who use Collier County’s access facilities (including residential docks) and waterways, and
2) quantify and map their use of public access facilities and waterways over the course of a year.
How was the study implemented?
What kind of information was generated from the study?
1. Characteristics of boaters who use Collier County waterways for recreation
2. A profile of the types of recreational vessels that are used on Collier County waterways
3. A description of the types of recreational activities that occur on Collier County waterways
4. A description of waterway access facility amenities preferred by boaters
5. A summary of principal waterway-related problems and needs as perceived by boaters
6. Spatial data formatted within a GIS that can be used to map: (i.e. service areas for Collier County boating facilities, departure or launch sites, water-based boating destinations and associated activities, trip routes that define where boaters travel on the water, areas of perceived waterway congestion, areas where additional waterway access is desired
Why is this study important?As demand for the use of Florida’s waterways increases, so does the need for enhanced public access, public safety, and environmental protection. There is, however, little information available to resource managers and planners that describes the preferences and use patterns of the boating community. Information obtained from this study can enhance resource management and planning applications, and contribute to educational products that can improve boating experiences and encourage resource stewardship.
Potential applications include:
- Categorization and spatial representation of boater departure sites, routes, and destinations to address community concerns regarding waterway access, maintenance, signage, and facility sitings
- Comparison of boating information with other spatial (GIS) data layers (for example, environmental features, development patterns) to help guide resource and public safety management
To view the entire 133 page study, click here.