The Coastal Use Surveys map depicts point-based data derived from two separate but related studies. Neither of these datasets can be considered representative of specific temporal or spatial trends in the region; however, they are valuable as supplemental data in that they identify where some individuals have taken part in a large number of marine recreational activities. Recreational Boater Activity locations are based on responses of online survey participants in the 2012 Northeast Recreational Boater Survey conducted by SeaPlan, the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC), states’ coastal agencies, marine trade associations composed of many private industry representatives, and the U.S. Coast Guard First District. Individual Ocean Use Survey Points and Board and Paddle Events data result from the Northeast Coastal and Marine Recreational Use Characterization Study, which was conducted by SeaPlan, the Surfrider Foundation, and Point 97 under the direction of the Northeast Regional Planning Body. Most points were entered by participants in the online mapping survey; some additional board and paddle events were included based on background research.

Data Considerations

The Recreational Boater Activities are derived from a survey that specifically targeted registered recreational boaters. As such, these survey points should not be interpreted as a representative sample of where these activities take place throughout the region. Individual User Survey Points and Board and Paddle Event locations are derived from an opt-in mapping tool used by participants in coastal and marine recreational activities to plot activity locations. Because respondents chose to participate in the survey, the sample is not random and may not be representative of the overall population. This dataset represents data collected from November 2014 to March 2015, and the survey asked users to map activities over the past 12 months. As such, this dataset should be interpreted to represent activity of survey participants over a specific time period, and it is not representative of annual trends. Board and Paddle Event data from the online survey was supplemented with data generated from additional background research; however, these data should not be considered an exhaustive list of all events that take place in the region.


These are final data products.

Support for Regional Ocean Planning

For information about how these data and maps were developed with stakeholder input and will be used to support regional ocean planning, please see the 2016 Northeast Ocean Plan at www.neoceanplanning.org.