2019 Beaches Conference Concurrent 1 Long Descriptions – Coastal Messaging and Behavior Change

Coastal Messaging and Behavior Change

Detailed Description: How do people know the connection between lawn care and water quality? What do coastal residents think of their local water quality and how willing are they to address impairments? And finally, what are plastic consumption patterns on college campuses and what is the level of awareness of the campus community? This session will feature diverse local professionals to address these questions and explore coastal messaging and resident behavior surrounding these topics.

Jessica Kellogg

Water Quality Friendly Lawn Care

Nutrient runoff and leaching are concerns in many coastal communities where lawns line shorefronts, riversides, and stormdrain-ed neighborhoods, and where fertilizer overuse is suspected. This session will introduce participants to regionally relevant information designed to help guide water quality-friendly lawn care outreach. Participants will learn about a USDA-funded project, conducted in the late 2000s, that included both agronomic and social science for New England. The presentation will include a sampling of key findings regarding recommendations for both lawn care practices and how to most effectively deliver lawn care messages. Participants will also learn how agronomic and social science recommendations have been integrated to create outreach products and how products are being used with MS4 communities in New Hampshire to meet their permit requirements. The session will also provide an opportunity for participants to identify related information needs and hear about additional turf-water quality outreach, training and engagement opportunities.

Julia Peterson

Perceptions of Beach Water Quality

The coastlines of Maine and New Hampshire provide a highly valuable resource for tourism, recreation, and seafood among many other uses. Actual, or perceived deterioration of water quality is a threat to those industries that derive their value from the coast. Beaches under advisory or closed due to poor water quality pose a direct risk to activities involving skin contact with the water, as do closures of seafood growing areas proximal to impaired waters. Thus, understanding coastal residents perceptions of Gulf of Maine’s coastal water quality, and willingness to contribute to programs aimed at addressing potential impairment, remains important for support of coastal policies. We use mail survey data of coastal residents (Maine and New Hampshire) collected by the New England Sustainability Consortium Safe Beaches & Shellfish Project in 2016. Responses provide key extensions regarding people’s preferences and behavior surrounding beaches including choices under advisory/closure conditions. We will examine factors impacting reported illnesses from coastal waters, awareness of coastal beach advisories and respondents’ source of information to improve our understanding of risk perception associated with beaches under advisories/closures.

George Voigt

Plastic Consumption

Single use plastics have become the problem du jour in the news. However, despite increasing awareness about the dangers that plastics in our environment (especially in our marine and aquatic environments) pose to all living organisms, our addiction to plastic continues- seemingly unabated. As part of an undergraduate statistics class at the University of New Hampshire, developed and circulated a survey to determine plastic consumption patterns and level of awareness among members of the UNH community. Preliminary results indicate that despite awareness and education on the topic of plastic pollution and overconsumption, people were still likely to use multiple plastic products on a daily basis. The data from over 200 surveys also revealed a strong relationship between gender, age and plastic consumption. This presentation will explore these results and their implications for strategies to induce behavior change and encourage a reduction of plastic product consumption in our communities.

Gabriela Bradt
Patricia Jarema