In fall 2017, MARCO and Surfrider Foundation co-hosted a series of four workshops throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, on behalf of the Mid-A RPB’s Non-consumptive Recreation Work Group, to engage the public in a discussion of the value of important non-consumptive recreational areas and the activities they sustain. Non-consumptive recreational uses represented included surfing, beach combing, kayaking, paddleboarding, boating, and scuba diving, among others. Evening workshops were held in Long Island, NY (September 27), Bethany Beach, DE (combined event with Maryland) (October 5), West Long Branch, NJ (October 11) and Virginia Beach, VA (November 8). Workshops were conducted in support of implementation of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan action: Identify, characterize, and share information about measures to maintain the recreational value of important non-consumptive recreational areas and the activities they sustain.
Participants were asked for input on the following objectives:
- To begin to define what it would mean for ocean and coastal uses and areas to be considered important for non-consumptive recreation;
- To solicit ideas for a process to identify and assess potential impacts and use conflicts to important non-consumptive recreational uses from other human uses, as well as potential impacts and conflicts between non-consumptive recreational uses and marine and coastal resources; and
- To explore ideas for effective two-way engagement processes to share information with and solicit input from ocean recreation users.
This workshop series followed a regional survey of non-consumptive recreational users which received over 1,000 responses (survey overview video). A report summarizing input from all four workshops is available here.