Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics

Document Type

Research Article


This paper presents a summary of coastal recreation of New England residents from a survey conducted in the summer of 2018. The management of New England’s coasts benefits from understanding the value of coastal recreation and the factors influencing recreational behavior. To address this need, the survey collected the geographic location and trip details for both day and overnight visits to any type of location on the New England coast for a range of water recreation activities, providing a comprehensive view of coastal recreation in the region. This paper summarizes participation in various types of water recreation activities, including beachgoing, swimming, fishing, wildlife viewing, boating, and other coastal recreation activities. We quantify demand for coastal recreation using participation and effort models that disaggregate the dimensions of recreational behavior over space and census demographics. This provides insights on the scale and location of beneficiaries of this important human use of the natural environment. We found that 71% of people in the surveyed region participate in coastal recreation and engage in a wide range of coastal recreation activities at varied locations from open-ocean-facing coastal beaches to sheltered, estuarine ways to water. On average, people in the region take 37 trips to recreate on the coast of New England in a year, spending 167 hours per year visiting recreation sites and 66 hours traveling. This adds up to nearly 170.5 million trips from our sample region, 772.4 million hours of recreation time, and 304.6 million hours of travel time. Distance to the coast, demographics, and recreational activities affect how often people go and how much time they spend on coastal recreation.

SM1 - New England Coastal Recreation Survey.pdf (2977 kB)
SM1 - New England Coastal Recreation Survey.pdf

SM2 Coastal Recreation in Southern New England Supplementary Information.pdf (762 kB)
SM2 Coastal Recreation in Southern New England Supplementary Information.docx

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.