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Recreation Use and Spatial Distribution of Use by Washington Households on the Outer Coast of Washington

Vernon Robert Leeworthy, Danielle Schwarzmann, Theresa L. Goedeke, Sarah Ball Gonyo, Laurie J. Bauer


Natural resources along the Outer Coast of Washington provide a variety of economic, social, and cultural benefits to the state’s residents, including tourism and recreation. Knowledge of the intensity and spatial distribution of recreation use can help inform marine spatial planning (MSP) and management of parks and marine protected areas (MPAs). A survey was funded by the State of Washington to support its MSP process and addressed visitation to the Outer Coast with emphasis on outdoor recreation activities. In 2013 and 2014, Point97 and the Surfrider Foundation conducted an Internet survey using a panel from Knowledge Networks (KN), a marketing research firm. The panel included a random sample of households in the State of Washington. In 2014, the survey was expanded to address management plan objectives of Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS). The survey covered user visitation to the Outer Coast over the past 12 months. It also solicited information on detailed recreational activities participated in by respondents over the 12-month period and on the last trip. Information on the respondent’s last trip to the Outer Coast was collected for two important reasons. First, respondents provided trip expenditure information so that expenditure profiles of visitors and their economic contributions to the local economy could be estimated. Second, respondents provided information on where, spatially, they engaged in particular types of activities during their last trip. This spatial information was used to estimate the spatial intensity of use by types of recreational activities along the Outer Coast (OC) and to estimate use in OCNMS under different spatial definitions of the OCNMS. Demographic information of the users was also collected to build user profiles, and to help understand how population changes may impact use and economic impacts.

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Recreation; coastal; marine; Washington; spatial use; Internet panel; sanctuary; spatial planning

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