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A Recreational Boating Characterization of Sarasota County

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Title: A Recreational Boating Characterization of Sarasota County
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Sidman, Charles
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Notes

Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: "Revised January 2007, Reviewed July 2010"
General Note: "TP 152"

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00003468:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00003468/00001

Material Information

Title: A Recreational Boating Characterization of Sarasota County
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Sidman, Charles
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Notes

Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: "Revised January 2007, Reviewed July 2010"
General Note: "TP 152"

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00003468:00001


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This is a publication of the Florida Sea Grant College Program, supported by the National Sea Grant College Program of the United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under NOAA Grant #NA16RG-2195. Add itional support was provided by the West Coast Inland Navigation District and Sarasota County, Flor ida. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily refl ect the views of these agencies. Online copies are available without charge at the Florida Sea Grant website, www.fl seagrant.org. Additional print copies can be obtained by contacting Fl orida Sea Grant, University of Florida, PO Box 110409, Gainesville, FL, 32611-0409, (352) 392-2801. Revised January 2007 TP 152 January 2 006

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A Recreational Boating Characterization of Sarasota County by Charles Sidman Coastal Planning Specialist Florida Sea Grant University of Florida Robert Swett Assistant Professor Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences University of Florida Timothy Fik Associate Professor Department of Geography University of Florida Susan Fann Editorial and GIS Specialist Florida Sea Grant University of Florida Bill Sargent Research Scientist Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission Fish and Wildlife Research Institute St. Petersburg, Florida

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iiTable of Contents LIST OF FIGURES................................................................................................................ ..... iii LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ...... iii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS........................................................................................................... vi ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... .......... vii CHAPTERS 1. INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................. 1 Background.............................................................................................................. ....... 1 Study Goal and Objectives.............................................................................................. 2 Study Region............................................................................................................ ....... 3 2. MAIL SURVEY................................................................................................................ 6 Survey Instrument....................................................................................................... .... 6 Sample Design........................................................................................................... ..... 7 Sample Selection........................................................................................................ ..... 8 Survey Return Breakdown.............................................................................................. 13 3. GIS DATABASE DEVELOPMENT................................................................................ 14 Spatial Database Design................................................................................................ 14 4. MAPPING BOATING PATTERNS................................................................................. 17 General Clustering Patterns........................................................................................... 17 Large Scale Ma pping of Selected Locales..................................................................... 21 5. BOATER-GROUP CHARACTERISTICS....................................................................... 33 Overview............................................................................................................... ......... 33 Vessel and Boater Profile.............................................................................................. 33 Trip and Seasonal Use Profile........................................................................................ 3 9 Rationale for Selecting Departure Sites and Travel Routes........................................... 48 Boater Activity Profile................................................................................................ ... 50 Perceived Congestion................................................................................................... .. 56 6. PERCEIVED DETRACTORS AND NEEDS................................................................... 57 Overview........................................................................................................................ 57 Detractors............................................................................................................. .......... 57 Needs.................................................................................................................. ............ 63 7. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS............................................................ 68 Study Findings.......................................................................................................... ...... 68

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iii Sampling Results....................................................................................................... .... 69 Survey Non-Response.................................................................................................... 69 Boat Ramp Service Area Analysis................................................................................. 70 Analysis of Seasonal Boating Trends............................................................................ 71 LITERATURE CITED............................................................................................................... 72 APPENDICES............................................................................................................................. 74 FIGURES Figure 1. The Sarasota County Study Area............................................................................ 4 Figure 2. Popular Sarasota County Boating Locales.............................................................. 5 Figure 3. Sarasota County Public Ramps Surveyed............................................................... 10 Figure 4. Sarasota County Marinas Surveyed........................................................................ 11 Figure 5. Spatial Distribution of Sara sota County Private Dock Sample.............................. 12 Figure 6. Example of GIS Attribute Query and Display: Nature Viewing Spots.................. 15 Figure 7. Example of GIS Attribute Query and Display: Reported Travel Routes................ 16 Figure 8. Travel Corridors as Summarized with the GIS....................................................... 18 Figure 9. Favorite Destinations as Summarized with the GIS............................................... 19 Figure 10. Congested Areas as Summarized with the GIS...................................................... 20 Figure 11. South Sarasota Bay: Congestion Hot Spots............................................................ 23 Figure 12. South Sarasota Bay: Travel Corridors and Destination Hot Spots......................... 24 Figure 13. Little Sarasota Bay and Blackburn Bay: Congestion Hot Spots............................. 25 Figure 14. Little Sarasota Ba y and Blackburn Bay: Travel Corridors and Destination Hot Spots ............................................................................................................... 26 Figure 15. Venice Inlet: Congestion Hot Spots........................................................................ 27 Figure 16. Venice Inlet: Travel Corr idors and Destination Hot Spots..................................... 28 Figure 17. Lemon Bay: Congestion Hot Spots......................................................................... 29 Figure 18. Lemon Bay: Travel Corri dors and Destination Hot Spots...................................... 30 TABLES Table 1. Estimated Survey Requirements............................................................................. 7 Table 2. Unique Tag Numbers Collect ed and VTRS Matches by Ramp............................. 9

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ivTable 3. Vessel Bow Numbers Collected from Marinas...................................................... 9 Table 4. Survey Return Breakdown...................................................................................... 13 Table 5. Breakdown of Sarasota County Bo aters Trip Features Associated with Inlets and Bays................................................................................................ 31 Table 6. Vessel Type........................................................................................................... .. 33 Table 7. Boater Waterway Access Categories...................................................................... 34 Table 8. Average Monthly Residence pe r year in the State of Florida................................. 34 Table 9. Boating Experience (in years)................................................................................. 35 Table 10. Years of Boating Experience in Florida by Waterway Access Category............... 35 Table 11. Boaters Having Completed a Boat Safety/Seamanship Course by Waterway Access Category............................................................................... 36 Table 12. Age of Boaters by Waterway Access Category...................................................... 37 Table 13a. Boater Willingness to Particip ate in a Future Internet Survey............................... 38 Table 13b. Boater Willingness to Partic ipate in a Future Mail Survey.................................... 39 Table 14. Drive Time fr om Home to Marina.......................................................................... 39 Table 15. Number of Times Per Year that Ramp/Shoreline is Used to Launch a Boat.......... 40 Table 16. Drive Time to Boat Ramp or Shoreline / Causeway (in minutes)......................... 40 Table 17. Departure Time Averages by Waterway Access Category .................................. 41 Table 18a. Trip Duration by Waterway Access Category for Day Trips................................. 42 Table 18b. Trip Duration by Waterway Access Category for Overnight Trips........................ 43 Table 19a. Boat Trips: Monthly Averages and Tr ip Count Statistics....................................... 44 Table 19b. Boat Trips During Peak S eason by Waterway Access Category........................ 45 Table 19c. Yearly Boat Trip Statis tics by Waterway Access Category................................... 46 Table 19d. Boat Trip Days: Weekday versus Weekend Trips.................................................. 47 Table 20. Reasons for Selecting a Favorite Departure/Launch Site....................................... 48 Table 21. Reasons for Selecti ng a Favorite Travel Route....................................................... 49 Table 22. Boaters Activity Statistics (entire sample)............................................................ 50 Table 23a. Boaters Activity St atistics: Boat Ramp Group .................................................... 51 Table 23b. Boaters Activity Sta tistics: Marina Wet Slip Group............................................ 52 Table 23c. Boaters Activity Statis tics: Marina Dry Storage Group....................................... 53

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vTable23d. Boaters Activity Statistics: Home Dock Group..................................................... 54 Table 23e. Boaters Activity Statistics: Condo Dock Group................................................... 55 Table 24. Analysis of Conges tion: Proportion of Survey Res pondents that Indicated They Had Avoided or Left Their Favorite Spot s/Destinations Due to Congestion......... 56 Table 25. Boating Detractors by Primary Category............................................................... 58 Table 26. Lack of Courtesy and/or S eamanship Detractors by Sub-Category...................... 58 Table 27. Congestion Detractors by Sub-Category............................................................... 59 Table 28. Infrastructure Deficien cy Detractors by Sub-Category.......................................... 60 Table 29. Altered Environment Detractors by Sub-Category................................................ 60 Table 30. Excessive Regulation Detractors by Sub-Category................................................ 61 Table 31. Lack of Water Access Detractors by Sub-Category............................................... 61 Table 32. Lack of Regulation/Enfor cement Detractors by Sub-Category............................. 62 Table 33. Top-10 Detract ors by Sub-Category....................................................................... 62 Table 34. Boating Needs by Primary Category...................................................................... 63 Table 35. Infrastructure Impr ovement Needs by Sub-Category............................................ 64 Table 36. Increased Access Needs by Sub-Category............................................................. 64 Table 37. More Regulation/Enfo rcement Needs by Sub-Category....................................... 65 Table 38. Boater Education Needs by Sub-Category............................................................ 66 Table 39. Environmental Prot ection Needs by Sub-Category............................................... 66 Table 40. Less Regulation Needs by Sub-Category.............................................................. 67 Table 41. Top-10 Needs by Sub-Category............................................................................. 67

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viAcknowledgments This project was funded by the West Coast In land Navigation Distri ct and its success relied upon the individual contributions of vari ous team members. Pr incipal Investigators Charles Sidman and Robert Swett (Florida Sea Grant) were responsible for project administration, overall design of the questionnai re and correspondence, sample selection, the GIS database design, and reporting. Amy Meese (Sarasota County), Chuck Listowski (West Coast Inland Navigation District), and Bill Sa rgent (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) provided valuable i nput into the design and content of the survey instrument. Timothy Fik (Department of Geography, Universi ty of Florida) performed the statistical analyses. Susan Fann and Charles Sidman (Flori da Sea Grant) conducted the content analysis. David Fann and Charles Sidman were responsib le for the questionnaire map layout and design, and cartography. Dorothy Zimmerman (Florida Sea Grant Communications) provided valuable editorial comments and suggestions. Larry Bear se (Manatee County IFAS Extension) conducted the marina and ramp surveys. Dick Tudor a nd James Harrison of Smart Mail Inc. (Alachua, Florida) implemented the mailing. Susan Fann, Gabriel Bolden, and Corina Guevara managed and processed attribute and spatial data from th e returned questionnaires We especially thank the many boaters who donated thei r time to complete and return the questionnaire. It is our intention that this effort will be translated into planning strategies and informational products of benefit to the Sarasota County boating community.

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viiAbstract This report documents the methods and pr ocedures implemented, during February through December 2005, to survey and characteri ze boaters who recreate on waterways within and around Sarasota County, on the basis of trip departure category (marina wet slip, marina dry storage, public ramp, and private dock). Vessel and boat trailer re gistration numbers collected at marinas and boat ramps within Sarasota County were used to obtain names and mailing addresses from the States Vessel Title Regist ration System (VTRS) for marina and ramp samples. Names and mailing addresses for waterf ront parcel owners obtained from Sarasota County tax records were compared to the VTRS to identify the dock sample (waterfront parcel owners that also own a boat). A map-based que stionnaire was mailed to a sample of 4,650 area boaters. Questionnaire recipients marked the star t and end point of thei r last two recreational boating trips, traced their travel routes, identi fied their favorite boati ng destinations, and the primary activities that they engaged in while at a particular destination. In addition, much descriptive data about boaters tripsincluding preferences for selecting trip departure sites and travel routes, activities conducte d, vessel types, and the timing, duration, and frequency of use was collected and can be linked to the mapped data. Lastly, a conten t analysis identified important issues and needs from the perspectiv e of the Sarasota County boating community. This information is intended to assist Sarasota County with prioritizing and improving waterway access and maintenance, optimizing boat facility s iting, and targeting available resources to those issues of greatest concern to the boating community.

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1 Chapter 1. Introduction Background Boating is a key element in Floridas coastal lifestyle and growth phenomena. According to the National Marine Manufact urers Association (2005), Florida ranks first in the nation in recreational boat registrations w ith more than 946,072 registered or titled pleasure boats. This represents approximately one boat for every 17 residents. Of equal note, Florida is the number one U.S. destination for marine recreationin cluding saltwater boatingwith an estimated 4.3 million participants (Leeworthy and Wiley, 2001). Coastal development, the ever-increasing number of boaters, and the dive rsity of recreational boating activi ties that now take place within Floridas coastal bays, estuaries, and waterways have had positive economic impacts, but also have profoundly altered the coas tal estuarine environment (Letson, 2002; Antonini, Fann and Roat, 1999). Sarasota County faces a dilemma that is common to Southwest Floridas coastal communities: how to balance growth in recreational boating and associated coastal development with conservation and management of natural res ources. As the number of boats that ply coastal waterways increases, so does the need for enha nced public access, main tenance of waterway infrastructure, boater safety and education, and environmental protection. To help meet these needs, Sarasota County requires spatial informati on that describes the activities, use-patterns, and inclinations of the boating commun ity. To date, however, such information has not been readily available to resource managers and planners. To overcome data limitations Sarasota County requested this study to provide baseline boating information that delineates spatial trends of waterway use (e.g., departure origins, boating des tinations, and intervenin g travel routes) mapped within a geographic information system (GIS). Collection of demographic (e.g., seamanship skills, local knowledge, motivations, and percepti ons) and trip information (e.g., starting time, duration, activities, and frequency of trips) to characterize the spatia l data was of equal importance to the Countys waterway planning and management efforts. The information provided by this study also satisfies a principal element of the Sarasota County Manatee Protection Plan; namely, a profile of recreational waterway use. The information generated by the study can serve to advance objectives pertaining to a variety of County programs, above and beyond those of the Manate e Protection Plan. Examples of ways that boating pattern information can be used to improve public waterway access and aquatic resource management and to address boaters concerns include: Categorization and spatial representation of boate r departure sites, rout es, and destinations to address community concerns regarding waterway access, maintenance, signage, and facility siting. Comparison of boating information with other spatial (GIS) data layers (e.g., environmental, development patterns) to help guide resource and public safety management.

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2 Temporal and activity-derived spatial profile s to identify and map boating pressure hotspots on county waterways. Identification of boating-related problems a nd their solutions as input to management strategies and communications produ cts that target available res ources to issues of greatest concern. This study, while focusing on Sarasota County waterways, also contributes to a regional picture of recreational boating patterns within the four counties of the West Coast Inland Navigation District (WCIND): Mana tee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties. Sarasota Countys commitment to a recreational boating study prompt ed the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissions Fish and Wildlife Res earch Institute to initiate a concurrent study for the greater Charlotte Harbor boating region that consists of Charlotte and Lee counties (Sidman, Swett, Fik, S. Fann, D. Fann and Sargent, 2005). The boating info rmation collected also overlaps with similar data obtained during a previous recreational boati ng characterization for the Tampa and Sarasota Bay region (Sidman, Fik and Sargent, 2004) and earli er projects in Charlotte Harbor (Gorzelany, 1998; Gorzelany, 1999; Gorzela ny, 2000; Sidman and Flamm, 2001). These complementary efforts will serve to complete a baseline recr eational boating profile for the WCIND and mesh with a statewide project that aims to evaluate waterway access througho ut Florida. During the first phase of the statewide access project, boating facilities will be invent oried, characterized, and mapped. The second phase of the statewide project wi ll consist of an analysis to determine the economic impact of recr eational boating. Lastly information collected as part of this recreational boating characterization complements aerial surveys to determine boat traffic and volume within Sarasota Countys coastal areas, to be conducted in a related and concurrent project sponsored by Sarasota County. This report documents the data collecti on, compilation, and descriptive analysis components of a mail survey to characterize recreational boating within Sara sota Countys coastal waterways.1 The report presents (1) the questionnaire and related correspondence; (2) the sample design and results of the mailing; (3) a GIS densit y analysis that depicts the spatial distribution and clustering of trip informati on reported by survey respondents; and (4) a set of descriptive statistics that characterize boa ting groups, activities, perceive d problems, and solutions to problems. Study Goal and Objectives This projects goal was to obtain baseline info rmation that can be us ed to describe and map the preferences, activities, and water-use patterns of boaters who use Sarasota County waterways, on the basis of waterw ay access facility type, (i.e., marina wet-slips, dry storage facility, public ramp, or private dock). Specific objectives included (1) implementation of a mail 1 A survey of boaters who use the Myakka River and Upper Charlotte Harbor boating regions was conducted as part of a concurrent recreational boating characterization of the Gr eater Charlotte Harbor (Sidman, Swett, Fik, S. Fann, D. Fann, and Sargent, 2005).

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3 survey to acquire spatial and be havioral information from boaters that use marinas, dry storage facilities, public ramps, and doc ks (2) construction of GIS spatial databases that map trip departure sites, destinations, trav el routes, and congested areas; and (3) completion of descriptive analyses of boating patterns and activities consistent with th at performed for the Tampa and Sarasota Bay recreational boating ch aracterization (Sid man et al., 2004). Study Region Sarasota Countys system of waterways has been described as the most precious jewel of the southwest Florida coast (Antonini et al., 199 9). Recreational boaters are attracted to this region by its many barrier islands, beaches, exposed sand spits, and protecte d waters that provide excellent opportunities for small-craft fishing, cruising, nature viewing, and picnicking/socializing. The Sara sota County boating region identif ied for this study comprises roughly 700 square miles and includes portions of the Gulf of Mexico, and interior bay waters that include portions of Big Sa rasota Bay, Little Sarasota Ba y, Roberts Bay, Blackburn Bay, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Venice inlet, and portions of Lemon Bay (Figures 1 and 2). An estimated 22,569 pleasure boats are registered in Sarasota County according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicl es (DHSMV), Vessel Title Registration System (VTRS) 2005 data sales database. This represents a 71% increase in the number of registered vessels in the County since 1980 (Bureau of Economic and Business Research, 1981).

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4 Figure 1 The Sarasota County Study Area.

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5 Figure 2 Popular Sarasota County Boating Locales.

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6 Chapter 2. Mail Survey Survey Instrument A mail survey is an established method for acquiring spatial and behavioral information from boating communities (West 1982; Falk, Gr aefe, Drogin, Confer, and Chandler 1992; Antonini, Zobler, Sheftall, Stevely and Sidma n, 1994; Antonini, West, Sidman and Swett, 2000). The survey instrument developed for this study was patterned after similar studies (West, 1982; Falk et al., 1992; Sidman and Flamm, 2001; Sidman, et al., 2004) and consisted of a two-sided 22 X 34 inch questionnaire that folded in quarters to 8.5 X 11 inches (see Appendix A for the survey instrument and associated correspondence). Th e questionnaire containe d a 1:79,200 scale map (1 inch equals 1.25 miles) of the Sarasota County co astal boating region on one side; the reverse side consisted of 27 questions divided in to the following topical areas: 1. Description of primary ve ssels owned and operated 2. Description of last two pleasure boating trips 3. Description of favorite boati ng destinations and activities 4. Description of survey respondent 5. Open questions to identify perceived problems and needs The following items accompanied each mailed questionnaire; 1. A cover letter that explained the study 2. A Sarasota County Boaters Guide developed by the FWRI 3. A postage paid return envelope with postal permit indicium In addition, a 4 X 6 inch card was mailed approxim ately two weeks after th e initial mailing as a reminder to survey recipients to comp lete and return the questionnaire. The questionnaire asked survey recipients to mark, on the map, the location of the trip departure sites, travel ro utes, favorite destinations, and congested areas associated with their last two pleasure boating trips. Compleme ntary questions allowed recipients to characterize their last two trips according to vessel types used, the departure date and tim e, and time spent on the water. In addition, recipients were asked the number of days per month that they take trips and the primary activities that they engaged in while at a favorite destination. They were also asked to identify and rank reasons for sele cting departure sites and travel routes. Finally, a series of openended questions addressed problems and needed improvements.

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7 Sample Design The sample design was developed to acquire in formation to profile four discrete boater populations that use the Sarasota County coastal boating region: boa ters that access waterways via (1) marina wet slips, (2) dry storage facilities, (3) public ra mps, and (4) private docks. The sample size required for each of the four boater groups that access Sarasota County waterways is a function of the desired confidence interval and confidence level. Given a total population of finite size, N, a tolerable error amou nt, e, and a desired confidence level as specified by the normal random variate, z, the required sample size, n, for estimating a population proportion, p, is determined by: n = N z2 p(1-p) (N-1)e2 + z2 p(1-p) Population estimates for marina wet slip, marina dry storage, and dock origin-type categories (Table 1) were determined by re viewing Sarasota County Regional Waterway Management System (RWMS) data, collected by Antonini and Box (1996) and Antonini, Swett, Shulte and Fann (2000) and by visiting Sarasota County marinas and dry storage facilities. The ramp user population (Table 1) was estimated by analyzing information contained in the VTRS according to the following criteria: 1. Sarasota County registration.2 2. Vessel type equal to open moto rboat or cabin motorboat. 3. Vessel length greater than 8 f eet and less than 26 feet. Table 1 Estimated Survey Requirements. Data Water Access Boater PopulationSample 2003 ExistingNeeded Estimated Questionnaires Source Type Estimate RequiredSample Sample Required RWMS* Marina Wet Slip 81826265197 985 RWMS Dry Storage 1,40430247255 1,275 VTRS** Public Ramp 10,69237165306 1,530 RWMS Private Dock 4,336353181172 860 TOTALS 17,2501,288358927 4,650 *Regional Waterway Management System **Vessel Title Registration System 2 The population of boaters that were sampled at ramps extends beyond the population of "boaters registered in Sarasota County; (i.e., it includes boaters from other countie s). Unfortunately, the market area for Sarasota County ramps is not known. The true population of Sarasota County ramp users is likely larger than the estimate which was based on the best available information.

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8 The estimated sample required (Table 1) for each water-access type was determined based on a tolerable error of 0.05 and a confidence level of 95 percent (z = 1.96). The estimated questionnaires required (Table 1) is a function of (1) the existing sample obtained from the 2003 survey of Sarasota County boate rs, as part of the Tampa and Sarasota Bay recreational boating characterization, (2) the needed sample the difference between the sample required and the existing sample, and (3) a return rate multiplier that assumed a 20 percent return rate based on return rates from previous surveys of southwest Florida boaters (Antonini et al., 1994; Antonini et al., 2000; Sidman and Flamm, 2001; Sidman, et al ., 2004). In contrast to the randomly sampled ramp and dock populations all boaters that were a ssociated with vessels id entified in marina wet and dry storage facilities and for whom name s and addresses could be obtained received a questionnaire. Ownership information was obtained for approximately 92% of vessels observed in marina wet slips and dry storage facilities (937 of 1,021 vessels inventorie d). The objective was to survey as many users as possible associated with marina wet slip and dry storage facility types given the relatively small numbers of boaters asso ciated with these waterway access categories. Additional surveys (above and beyond estimat ed needs) were mailed to ramp and dock populations to better ensure that adequate samples were obtained for these groups. Sample Selection Automobile and boat trailer re gistration numbers collected at Sarasota County boat ramps (Table 2) and vessel bow numbers collected at marinas (Table 3) were used to obtain names and mailing addresses from the states Automobile, Trai ler and Vessel Title Regi stration databases. In this way, registration information was used to id entify the names and mailing addresses of patrons of public boat ramps, marina wet slips, and mari na dry storage facilities. In addition, the name and mailing address of owners of observed docum ented vessels were obtained from the United States Coast Guard (USCG) doc umented vessel database. During March through May 2005, Florida Sea Gran t personnel visited nine public ramps in Sarasota County (Figure 3) and recorded 3,258 unique license plate numbers of both the boat trailer and the towing vehicle. This informati on was compared to DHSMV vehicle and trailer registration information to provide 2,273 VTRS matches for names and mailing addresses (Table 2) from which 2000 ramp patrons were random ly selected to receive a questionnaire. During February through March 2005, Florida Sea Grant personnel visited all known marinas and dry storage facilities located in Sarasota County to record bow numbers from vessels stored in wet slips and in dr y storage (Table 3; Figure 4)3. Florida Sea Grant personnel logged bow numbers from 401 vessels moored in wet slips and 620 vessels kept in dry storage facilities. Wet slip and dry storage capacity was also obtained from interviews with facility managers (Table 3). The name and hailing port of documen ted vessels were also obtained and used to acquire additional names and mailing addresses from the USCG documented vessel database. Due to the comparatively small number of vessels ke pt in marinas and dry storage facilities, a questionnaire was mailed to all patrons for whom names and addresses could be acquired from the DHSMV or USCG databases. 3 Access was denied at three of the 15 marinas visited.

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9 Names and mailing addresses for waterfront parcel owners obtained from county tax records were compared to the VTRS to identif y the private dock sample. The owners name, street number, street name, and ZIP code obtained from county tax records were combined and compressed into one concatenated field. A si milar compression procedure was undertaken for VTRS owner name, address, and zip code fields Compressed name and address information for all waterfront parcels was th en linked to the corresponding co mpressed VTRS information to identify matches. Matches ensure d that only those waterfront parc el owners who also own boats were included in the sample. An ArcGIS progr am downloaded from the ESRI website was used to select a random spatial sa mple of 1,663 dock owners from the 1,942 VTRS/parcel matches (Figure 5). Table 2 Unique Tag Numbers Collected and VTRS Matches by Public Ramp. Sarasota County Ramp Name Number of Unique Tags VTRS Matches Blackburn Point Ridge Park 1 1 Centennial Park 1,301 692 Higel Marine Park 108 88 Indian Mound Park 108 93 Ken Thompson 448 393 Manasota Beach 34 26 Nokomis Beach 486 387 Turtle Beach 276 207 Venice Marina Park 496 386 TOTAL 3,258 2,273 Table 3 Vessel Bow Numbers Collected from Marinas. *VTRS name and address matches are shown in parentheses. **An additional 58 member s of the Bird Key Yacht Club received a survey. Sarasota County Marina Name Wet Capacity Dry Capacity Wet Slips Inventoried Dry Storage Inventoried Bahia Mar Apartments Marina 35 0 25 0 Bird Key Yacht Club 47 0 47** 0 Dock On the Bay 20 0 8 0 Dockside Marine 0 230 0 122 Gulf Harbor Marina 0 269 Access Denied Access Denied Holiday Inn Airport Marina 60 0 41 0 Longboat Key Moorings 296 0 141 0 Marina At the Landings 0 100 0 34 Marina Jack 225 0 122 0 Marine Max 0 256 0 219 Phillippi Shores Marina 0 90 0 73 Sara Bay Marina 0 120 Access Denied Access Denied Sarasota Yacht Club 105 0 Access Denied Access Denied Spindrift 5 194 3 94 Turtle Beach Marina 25 145 14 78 TOTALS 818 1,404 401 (379)* 620 (558)*

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10 Figure 3. Sarasota County Public Ramps Surveyed.

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11 Figure 4. Sarasota County Marinas Surveyed.

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12 Figure 5 Spatial Distribution of the Sarasota County Private Dock Sample.

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13 Survey Return Breakdown Questionnaires were mailed between May 27 and June 6, 2005. The quantity of surveys that were ultimately mailed to each user-gr oup, identified in Table 4, was determined by the number of names and mailing a ddresses identified from the VTRS USCG, or county tax roles. For example, a total of 4594 questionnaires were mailed to ma rina wet slip users although 985 surveys were estimated as being necessary to meet minimum sample sizes given a return rate of 20 percent. The shortfall is due to the comparatively small number vessels associated with Sarasota County marinas. A similar shortfall oc curred for the dry storage facility category. Many of those vessels likely had expi red registrations and were, therefore, not included in the active registration VTRS database that was obtained from the DHSMV. Conversely, mailings for the larger public ramp and private dock user ca tegories exceeded the estimated minimum mailings required. A reminder card was sent to individuals who had not yet returned the questionnaire two weeks after a wave of surveys had been mailed. A total of 973 useable surv eys were returned (15 returned surveys could not be used) resulting in an overall return rate of 21 percent. When combined with information from the earlier Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay survey the sample size benchmark (tolerable error of 0.05 and a conf idence level of 95 percent) was exceeded for public ramps and private docks, but not for marina wet and dry storage facilities. The relatively small number of returns from users of marina we t slips (73) and dry stor age facilities (102) was due to (1) the small number of marina facilities in Sarasota County, (2) the comparatively small number of vessels observed at marina facilities, and (3) the re sponse rate. When combined (i.e., 2005 Sarasota survey returns with 2003 Sarasota survey returns), the sample of n=138 marina wet slip and n = 149 dry storage users meet a maxi mum tolerable error of 0.076 at a confidence level of 95 percent. Summary statistics are presented in Table 4 for survey mailings and returns from the 2003 Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay survey and the total combined samples by boater group. Return rates for the four boa ting categories are considered to be appropriately large and are consistent with the results of a random statewide survey of boaters (Swett, Fann, & DeLaney, 2005) which suggests that proportiona te samples were obtained for st atistical inferences to be made among the surveyed boater groups. Table 4. Survey Return Breakdown. Boater Group Mailed (in 2005) Returned Useable % Return 2003 Sample Total Sample Marina Wet Slip 459 73 20.5 65 138 Dry Storage 519 102 19.7 47 149 Public Ramp 2,000 445 22.3 65 510 Private Dock 1,672 343 20.5 181 524 Other* 10 0 TOTALS 4,650 973 20.9 Average 358 1,321 *Ten respondents listed other for boater group type. 4 The 459 surveys mailed to marina wet slip users included 58 additional surveys that we re mailed to members of the Bird Key Yacht Club.

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14 Chapter 3. GIS Database Development Spatial Database Design Questionnaire recipients were asked to (1) mark the start a nd end point of their last two pleasure boating excursions on a map (2) draw their entire travel routes, (3 ) identify their favorite boating destinations along those routes, and (4 ) annotate the map with abbreviations for the primary activities that they engaged in while at ea ch destination. They were also asked to indicate by the letter C any places on the map they considered to be congested. Spatial data collected from the 973 returned surveys were digitized into the ESRI ArcGIS geographic information system (GIS) 5. This resulted in a sample of 1,832 trip origins, 1,832 travel routes, 2,291favorite boating destinations, and 1,195 locati ons of perceived congestion. Spatial information was digitized on-scre en over United States Geological Survey normal color Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quad rangles (DOQQ) flown in 2004. GIS layers depicting the positions of marina s, ramps, navigation aids, and ar tificial reefs were used as background themes to enhance the ac curacy of digitized data. Trip departure sites and congested spots were digitized as point features and each record was coded with the survey control number and trip number (i.e., first or sec ond trip). Favorite destinations were digitized as point features and were coded with the survey control number, tr ip number, and the activities that a respondent engaged in at each favorite destination. Travel ro utes were digitized as line features and coded with the following attribute information: Survey control number, trip nu mber, round trip or one way (if round trip, the same route often was depicted for both legs of the trip), and whether or not the trip extended beyond the study area. The database structure allows information from survey questions to be linked to digitized spatial information via the survey control num ber (ID), which uniquely identified spatial and attribute information provided by each survey re spondent. The selection and display of favorite destination point data within the GIS is illust rated in Figure 6 for a portion of the southern Sarasota Bay boating area. Red dots represent departure sites identified by survey respondents; green dots represent favorite destin ations; yellow dots represent a su b-set of favorite destinations where survey respondents reported that they lik e to nature view. The Select by Attributes window upper left corner of Figure 6 illustrate s a GIS database query th at selects and displays favorite destination points that ar e associated with nature viewing (e.g., NV = Y). The Selected Attributes of Destinations window lower left co rner of Figure 6 displa ys all linked database records in yellow. These records share the same survey control number (ID) that meet the query criterion of nature viewing (NV). Responses by su rvey respondents indicate that the Bird Keys area in Little Sarasota Bay, the spoil islands in Roberts Bay, and the southern tip of Lido Key near Big Sarasota Pass are popular des tinations for nature viewing. Reported travel routes within the southern Sarasota Bay boating region are displayed in Figure 7. Pink lines represent travel routes digitized from return ed surveys; red and green dots illustrate departure sites and favorite destinations, respectively. The blue line depicted in the GIS 5 Fifteen survey respondents either did not report any spatial information or the information that they provided could not be interpreted.

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15 view represents one travel route that has been selected for display. The corresponding database record that is linked to the travel route via th e survey control number ID is also highlighted blue in the Attributes of Rout es database window at the lower left of Figure 7. Figure 6. Example of GIS Attribute Query and Display: Nature Viewing Spots.

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16 Figure 7. Example of GIS Attribute Query and Display: Reported Travel Routes.

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17 Chapter 4. Mapping Boating Patterns General Clustering Patterns This chapter presents the results of a GIS analysis to map the distribution of digitized trip information as density of occurrence. C ontinuous density surfaces generated by the GIS illustrate the degree of concentration or clustering of digitized trip inform ation. General clustering patterns for travel routes, destinations, and congested areas were identified using 100-meter grid cells and a feature density search radius of 800 meters as mapping resolution parameters. General route densities are depicted in Fi gure 8. The greatest density of vessel traffic occurs within the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway be tween New Pass and Venice Inlet: in particular at Venice Inlet, in southern portions of Sarasota Bay, and within Roberts Bay. Vessel traffic is more diffuse in the wider portions of Sarasota Bay a nd less intense along segments of the Intracoastal Waterway within Lemon Bay. Seaward of the barrier islands the flow of boat traffic is generally dispersed but follows a radial pattern to and from prominent artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico. Figure 9 displays favorite destinations identified by respondents as lo cales they were most likely to visit on a typical recrea tional boating trip. The density an alysis revealed several prime boating destinations: New Pass, Big Sarasota Pass and the Venice Inlet. Secondary destination areas include the Bird Keys (closed Midnight Pass area) and Blackburn Point. The Longboat Pass (Manatee County) and Stump Pass (Charlotte County) areas also represent important boating destinations for Sarasota County boaters. Areas where boaters experience congestion defined in Question 20 as more boats than you prefer are illustrated in Figure 10. The density analysis revealed that respondents experience the highest degree of congestion at their favorite boating destinations, including Venice Inlet, New Pass, Big Sarasota Pass, among the spoil islands in Roberts Bay, and near the Bird Keys in Little Sarasota Bay. Longboat Pa ss and Stump Pass also were identified as congested destinations. Among trip origins, a high degree of congestion was reported at the Centennial Park boat ramp.

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18 Figure 8. Travel Corridors as Summarized with the GIS.

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19 Figure 9. Favorite Destinations as Summarized with the GIS.

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20 Figure 10. Congested Areas as Summarized with the GIS.

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21 Large-Scale Mapping of Selected Locales This section presents higher-r esolution maps of use-patterns for a selection of Sarasota County boating locales that incl ude South Sarasota Bay, Robert s Bay, Little Sarasota Bay, Blackburn Bay, Venice Inlet, and portions of Lemon Bay. The maps that illustrate clustering patterns for travel routes, destinations, and congested areas, were generated using 10-meter grid cells and a feature density search radius of 200 meters as mapping resolution parameters. Enhanced accuracy was gained by the on-screen digitizing of trip information using one-meter normal color USGS digital orthophoto quarter qu adrangles (DOQQ) and navigation markers for orientation. In addition, information regarding vessel type and draft obtained from survey questions was also used to infer the location of routes with more accuracy than respondents could achieve when drawing on the small-scale survey map. The 10-meter mapping resolution was consistent w ith the 10-meter masking grid developed for the spatial analysis to (1) preserve small spoil islands and narrow land bridges (e.g., causeways, spits, barrier islands) that are f ound within the study area and (2) to constrain the density search algorithm to water areas (i.e., to ensure that the density function did not jump narrow land areas to include features that were spatially proximate yet associated with different boating locales). The 200-meter feature density search radius was sele cted to ensure that th e results of the higher resolution mapping accurately portrayed use patterns in the narrow embayments that are prevalent within the Sarasota County coas tal boating region. For example, larger search radii produced clustering patterns that jumped sections of narrow barrier islands, falsely implying (at the selected larger scale mapping resolution) that high concentrations of use occurred in some open Gulfside waters. Again, the goal was to select a density search parameter that would highlight areas (such as the Intracoastal Waterway) that experience greate r concentrations of boating and congestion, without including spat ially proximate area s with significantly less boating activity. Figures 11 and 12 show the density analysis re sults for the south Sara sota Bay region that includes New Pass and Big Sarasota Pass. Congested areas reported by survey respondents include portions of the Intracoastal Waterway in Roberts Bay, New Pass, Big Sarasota Pass, and the Centennial Park boat ramp lo cales (Figure 11). Figure 12 displa ys primary travel corridors and destination hot-spots derived from density analyses of travel routes a nd favorite destinations. With the exception of the Centennial Park boat ra mp locale, areas of congestion coincide with favorite destinations. It should be noted that the Longboat Pass area (Manatee County) also represents a popular boating destina tion for Sarasota County boaters. Little Sarasota Bay and Blackburn Bay are highlighted in Figures 13 and 14. Congestion was identified within the Intracoastal Waterway between Roberts Bay and L ittle Sarasota Bay and at the Bird Keys / Midnight Pa ss locale (Figure 13). The density analysis revealed a spot of reported congestion in Blackburn Bay near the Ma nasota Beach boat ramp. Primary destinations (Figure 14) in the area include the Bird Keys / Midnight Pass ar ea and Blackburn point, which is consistent with the results of the de nsity analysis of congested spots. Congestion and boating patterns for the Venice Inlet area are depicted in Figures 15 and 16. Snake Island and nearby restaurants represent a focal point for activitie s and congestion in the area. Secondary nodes of reported congestion are observed at the Manasota Beach boat ramp and

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22 along a constricted segment of the Intracoastal Waterway just north of Venice Inlet. A secondary destination area was identified at the restaurant as sociated with Gulf Harbor Marina (Figure 16). Boating in Lemon Bay is primarily restrict ed to the Intracoastal Waterway. The density analysis revealed a single area of reported c ongestion associated with the Indian Mound boat ramp (Figure 17) and no signifi cant destination areas within Sarasota County waterways (Figure 18). Stump Pass in Charlotte County, which lies ju st outside the study area, was identified as a popular destination spot for Sarasota County boaters.

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23 Figure 11. South Sarasota Bay: Congestion Hot Spots.

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24 Figure 12. South Sarasota Bay: Travel Corridors and Destination Hot Spots.

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25 Figure 13. Little Sarasota Bay and Blackburn Bay: Congestion Hot Spots.

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26 Figure 14. Little Sarasota Bay and Blackburn Bay: Tr avel Corridors and Destination Hot Spots.

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27 Figure 15. Venice Inlet: Congestion Hot Spots.

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28 Figure 16. Venice Inlet: Travel Corridors and Destination Hot Spots.

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29 Figure 17. Lemon Bay: Congestion Hot Spots.

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30 Figure 18. Lemon Bay: Travel Corridors and Destination Hot Spots.

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31 Table 5 shows a breakdown of trip information according to prominent passes and bays utilized by Sarasota County boaters. Seventy th ree percent of the routes mapped by survey respondents traversed one of five prominent inlets in the study area. An evaluation of routes that were associated with inlets, as reported by survey respondents, indicates th at Venice Inlet (32% of routes) and New Pass (30% of rout es) experience the greatest rela tive volume of reported trips. These are followed by Big Sarasota Pass with 22% of routes. Stum p Pass in Charlotte County and Longboat Pass in Manatee County (ranke d fourth and fifth) are asso ciated with 10% and 7% of trips originating from Sarasota County access facilities, respectively. Table 5 Breakdown of Sarasota County Boaters Trip Features Associated with Inlets and Bays. Pass # of routes through inlets % of routes through inlets % of total routes Relative Rank Longboat 93 7 5 5 New Pass 399 30 22 2 Big Sarasota Pass 290 22 16 3 Venice Inlet 424 32 23 1 Stump Pass 137 10 7 4 Total routes through inlets 1,343 100 73 Total routes 1,832 Bay # of destinations in bays % of destinations in bays % of total destinations Relative Rank Sarasota Bay 824 53 36 1 Robert's Bay 130 8 6 5 Little Sarasota Bay 233 15 10 2 Blackburn Bay 55 4 2 6 Venice Inlet 141 9 6 4 Lemon Bay 180 12 8 3 Total destinations in bays 1,563 100 68 Total destinations 2,291 Bay # of congested spots in bays % of congested spots in bays % of total congested spots Relative Rank Sarasota Bay 473 46 40 1 Robert's Bay 120 12 10 3 Little Sarasota Bay 113 11 9 4 Blackburn Bay 61 6 5 6 Venice Inlet 147 14 12 2 Lemon Bay 105 10 9 5 Total congested spots in bays 1,019 100 85 Total congested spots 1,195

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32 A ranking of destination and c ongested locales by bay is also highlighted in Table 5. Baywater destinations account for 68% of the total number of favorite destinations mapped by survey respondents. The results show that Sarasota Bay (53% of destinat ions) is by far the most popular destination area within Sarasota County, followed distantl y by Little Sarasota Bay (15% of destinations) and Lemon Bay (12% of destin ations). Venice Inlet and Roberts Bayranked fourth and fifth, respectivelywer e associated with roughly 9 % of the destinations reported by Sarasota County boaters. Lastly, Blackburn Bay was c onnected with 4% of ba ywater destinations. A relative ranking of baywater areas accordi ng to perceived congestion (Table 5) shows that Sarasota Bay (40% of bayw ater congested locales) is overwh elmingly considered to be the most congested area. It should be noted that the majority of congested spots in Sarasota Bay which were reported by boaters are confined to specific locations (e.g., New Pass, Big Sarasota Pass, Centennial Park boat ramp), as identifi ed in Figure 11. Venice Inlet (14% of congested areas) and Roberts Bay (12% of congested areas) are ranked a dist ant second and third. Congestion in Roberts Bay is shown to be prim arily associated with the Intracoastal Waterway (Figure 11). The Venice Inlet lo cale, by contrast, is characteri zed by a number of boat accessible restaurants, marinas, and the conf luence of the inlet with several interior bays and the Intracoastal Waterway. Little Sarasota Bay and Lemon Bay are ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, with approximately 10% of the congested locales, followed, lastly, by Blackburn Bay with 6%.

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33 Chapter 5. Boater-Group Characteristics Overview This chapter presents an evaluation and discussi on of responses to specific survey questions. Chapter sections are divided according to themes th at describe (1) vessel and boater profiles; (2) trips and seasonality; (3) rationale for selecting departure sites, destinations, and travel routes; (4) activities; and (5) perceived congestion. Although questions were arranged to follow a logical progression on the survey instrument the following results and discussion sections are arranged thematically; therefore, questions do not necessar ily follow the order in which they appeared on the survey. The descriptive analysis presented in this chapter is based on 1,331 responses that represent a combination of (1) information obtained from the n=973 returned 2005 Sarasota County surveys, and (2) information obtained from the n=358 Sarasota County respondents to the 2003 Tampa and Sarasota Bay recreational boating characterization survey. A copy of the 2005 Sarasota County boater survey instru ment is provided in Appendix A. Vessel and Boater Profile This section describes the t ypes of vessels owned and us ed, and survey respondents boating experience and knowledge of local waterways. The n=1,331 survey respondents accounted for a total of 1,461 vessels, of which 39.70% were Open Fisherman and 27.38% were Power Crui sers. These two vessel types accounted for more than two-thirds of boats owned by respondents (Table 6; Question 6). Table 6. Vessel Type. Frequency Percentage Vessel type count (vessels) of total vessels Jet ski 44 3.01% Kayak/Row/Canoe 50 3.42% Sailboat (no cabin) 27 1.85% Sailboat (with cabin) 76 5.20% Speed Boat 186 12.73% (jet boat, cigarette boat) Open Fisherman 580 39.70% (flats, skiff, johnboat) Power Cruiser 400 27.38% Pontoon/Deck Boat 84 5.75% Other 14 0.96% 1,461 vessels (n = 1,331 respondents)

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34 Of the n=1,331 survey respondents, 38.47% acce ssed waterways from public boat ramps (the top-ranked waterway access category) a nd 37.71% departed from home docks (the second-highest ranked departure category). To gether, marina wet slips and dry storage facilities accounted for about 21% of the departure sites iden tified by respondents (Table 7; Question 11). These ratios are consistent with those obtained from a statewide survey of boaters conducted by Swett et al. ( 2005) in which 43% departed from boat ramps; 35% departed from home docks; 12% from wet slips; and 6% from dry stor age facilities. Note that shore/causeway and condominium dock wa terway access categories are included (in addition to the four primary waterway access types) in the summary tables as some respondents selected these options when answering Question 11. Table 7. Boater Waterway Access Categories. Frequency Percentage Access Category count of total Rank Boat Ramp 512 38.47% 1 Shore/Causeway 3 0.22% Marina Wet Slip 135 10.14% 4 Dry Storage Facility 144 10.82% 3 Home Dock 502 37.71% 2 Condo Dock 35 2.63% n = 1,331 respondents The average number of months per year that survey respondents reside in the state of Florida is approximately 11.1 months with a 95% confidence interval that ranged from 10.96 to 11.22 months (Table 8; Question 21). Table 8. Average Monthly Residence per year in the State of Florida. n = 1,328 respondents out of a total of 1,331 Average number of months living in Florida = 11.094 months Standard Deviation = 2.37 months 95% confidence interval: {10.96 to 11.22 months}

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35 On average, survey respondents had 16.47 year s of recreational boating experience. The 95% confidence interval ranged from 15.76 to 17.17 years boating experience. The median number of years of boating experience, based on n=1,328 respondents, was 13 years (Table 9; Question 22). Table 9. Boating Experience (in years). Statistic Years boating Average 16.47 Standard. Deviation 13.15 Minimum 0 Maximum 68.00 Median 13.00 Mode 20.00 n = 1,328 The 95% confidence interval for years boating experience: {15.76 years to 17.17 years}. Survey respondents who accessed waterways from home docks and public boat ramps tended to have the most boating experience in Flor ida, in each case exceeding the average of 16.47 years. Respondents departing from marina we t slips reported just over 15 years of boating experience, on average. The experience levels of respondents departing from dry storage facilities (12.4 years) and condo docks (12.8 years) tende d to fall well below the average (Table 10; Question 22). Table 10. Years of Boating Experience in Florida by Waterway Access Category. Boating Experience (in years) -------------------------------------------------Access category n Mean Std. dev. Median Min Max Boat Ramp 511 16.7* 12.7 15 0.3 60 Shoreline/Causeway 3** 17.0* 19.9 7 4.0 40 Marina Wet Slip 135 15.3 12.5 10 0.8 50 Dry Storage Facility 144 12.4 11.7 7.5 0.8 60 Home Dock 500 17.8* 14.0 15 0.0 68 Condo Dock 35 12.8 8.4 12 1.0 30 Denotes above-average experience-exceeds the mean (> 16.47 years). ** Statistic is based on a very small sample size.

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36 Approximately 70% of n=1,327 respondents indicated that they have had a boater safety or seamanship course. Respondents th at launched from boat ramps tende d to be the least likely to have had a boater safety or seamanship course while those departing from marina wet slips were the most likely, with well over 90% repor ting formal training in boating safety / seamanship. A higher-than-average number of respondents that accessed the water from dry storage facilities, home docks, and condo docks i ndicated that they had completed some form of boating safety/seamanship course or training (Table 11; Question 23). Table 11. Boaters Having Completed a Boat Safety / Seamanship Course By Waterway Access Category. Access Category n Yes Percentage Boat Ramp 509 294 57.76 Shoreline/Causeway 3 1 33.33** Marina Wet Slip 135 123 91.11* Dry-Storage Facility 144 113 78.45* Home Dock 501 373 74.45 Condo Dock 35 27 77.14* Overall 1,327 931 70.15 (average) Denotes above-average value. **Statistic is based on a very small sample.

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37 Survey respondents were 56 years of age, on average. Respondents who accessed waterways from marina wet slips, dry st orage facilities, and home docks were between 2.7 and 4.7 years older than the average respondent. Survey respondents who accessed the water from condo docks tended to be approximately 10 years olde r than the average surv ey respondent. Survey respondents launching from boat ramp s tended to be about 49 year s of age (on average), and roughly seven years younger than the average survey responde nt (Table 12; Question 24). Table 12. Age of Boaters by Waterway Access Category. Age (in years) -------------------------------------------------Access Category n Average Std. Dev. Median Min Max Boat Ramp 511 49.0 10.9 48 16 89 Shoreline/Causeway** 3 63.0* 5.0 63 58 68 Marina Wet-Slip 134 60.5* 9.5 61 33 79 Dry Storage Facility 143 58.8* 10.4 59 32 86 Home Dock 499 60.8* 11.2 61 22 96 Condo Dock 33 66.0* 10.4 59 32 86 Overall 1,323 56.1 12.2 57 16 96 Denotes above-average value. ** Statistics are based on a very small sample.

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38 Willingness to participate in a futu re Internet survey was highest for respondents that accessed Sarasota County waterways from marina dry storage facilities (76.9%) and marina wet slips (71.6%). The remaining waterway access groups fell at or below the average degree of willingness (67.3%) to participate in a future survey. Respondents that accessed the water from home (63.3%) and condo docks (64%) had the lowest willingness to participate (Table 13a; Question 25a). Table 13a. Boater Willingness to Participate in a Future Internet Survey. Access Category n Yes Percentage Boat Ramp 361 243 67.3%** Shoreline/Causeway 2 2 100.0%*** Marina Wet Slip 113 81 71.6%* Marina Dry Storage 117 90 76.9%* Home Dock 409 259 63.3% Condo Dock 25 16 64.0% Overall n = 1,027 691 67.3% (average) Denotes above-average value. ** Not significantly different from the average at 95% confidence. *** Small sample size bias (not n ecessarily representative of group).

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39 Willingness to participate in a fu ture mail survey was highest for boaters that launched from boat ramps (almost 93%), followed by respondents th at departed from condo docks (with just over 90%). All other waterway access groups fell at or below the average willingness to participate figure of 88.7%. Respondents that de parted from home docks had the lowest willingness to participate percentage with 83.4%. Nonetheless, willingness to participate in a future mail survey was very high across the board, with an average for all waterway access groups of over 88%a figure that is significantly higher than the percentage of respondents willing to participate in the Internet-b ased survey (Table 13b; Question 25b). Table 13b. Boater Willingness to Particip ate in a Future Mail Survey. Access Category n Yes Percentage Boat Ramp 389 361 92.8%* Shoreline/Causeway 3 3 100.0%*** Marina Wet Slip 64 55 85.9% Dry Storage Facility 81 72 88.8%** Home Dock 260 217 83.4% Condo Dock 21 19 90.4%* Overall n = 818 727 88.7% (average) Denotes above-average value. ** Not significantly different from the average at 95% confidence. *** Small sample size bias (not n ecessarily representative of group). Trip and Seasonal Use Profiles This section characterizes the trip and seasonal boating prof iles of survey respondents. Survey respondents who departed from marinas traveled, on average, 39 minutes from home to their respective departure sites with a median travel time of 15 minutes (Table 14; Question 13). Table 14. Drive Time from Home to Marina. Statistic Drive time (in minutes) Average 39.3 Standard Deviation 121.6 95% confidence interval {24.6 to 53.9 minutes) Median 15.0 n = 265 respondents

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40 Survey respondents who accessed Sarasota County waterways from boat ramps or causeway/shorelines tended to launch approxima tely 30 times per year, with a median value of 24 departures per year (Table 15; Question 14). Table 15. Number of Times Per Year that Ramp or Causeway/Shoreline is Used to Launch a Boat. Statistic Number of times/year Average 30.5 Standard Deviation 25.1 95% confidence interval {28.0 to 32.9} Minimum 1.0 Maximum 200.0 Median 24.0 n = 397 respondents The average drive time for boaters who launche d from a boat ramp or shoreline / causeway was approximately 28 minutes; with a median dr ive time of 20 minutes (Table 16; Question 15). Table 16. Drive Time to Boat Ramp or Shoreline/Causeway (in minutes). Statistic Drive time (in minutes) Average 28.3 Standard Deviation 32.0 95% confidence interval {24.1 to 32.4} Minimum 2.0 Maximum 210.0 Median 20.0 n = 225 respondents

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41 Respondents who accessed waterways from home docks tended to have the earliest AM departure (6:20 AM, on average) followed by those who launched from boat ramps (7:37 AM, on average). Boaters who accessed waterw ays from condo docks tended to depart almost an hour later than those who la unched from boat ramps during the AM hours (Table 17; Question 2). Table 17. Departure Time Averages by Waterway Access Category. Average values for group AM PM Access Category n time time ---------------------------------------------------------Boat Ramp 494 7:37 12:22 Shoreline/Causeway* 3 6:40 12:40 Marina Wet Storage 118 7:53 12:38 Dry Storage Facility 141 7:45 12:28 Home Dock 486 6:20 1:03 Condo Docks 34 8:31 12:21 All groups 1,276 7:11AM 12:41PM Results based on small sample (not necessarily representative of group).

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42 Survey respondents reported a total of 1,832 trips w ith an average trip duration of 5.23 hours (Question 3). For trips of 24 hours or less in duration, respondents who launched from boat ramps tended to log significantly more time on the water than did those who departed from other locations. Marina wet slip users were second in terms of time spent on the water, with an average trip duration of 5.24 hours (note: this valu e is not significantly different, at the 95% confidence level, from the mean trip duration of 5.23 hours ). Condo dock users tended to spend significantly le ss time on the water than did those who departed from marina wet slips, dry storage facilities, or boat ramps (Table 18a; Question 3). Table 18a. Trip Duration by Waterway Access Category for Day Trips (Combined Trips: Trip duration < 24 hours day trippers). Day trips (in hours) -------------------------------------Access Category Mean 95% C.I. Median Boat Ramp 6.08* {5.9 to 6.2} 6.0 Shoreline/Causeway 3.25 {2.2 to 4.2} 3.5 Marina Wet Slip 5.24 {4.7 to 5.7} 5.0 Dry Storage Facility 5.02 {4.6 to 5.3} 4.3 Home Dock 4.54 {4.3 to 4.7} 4.0 Condo Dock 3.47 {2.9 to 4.5} 3.0 Overall 5.23 {5.1 to 5.3} 5.0 Denotes above-average trip duration.

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43 The average duration for trips that exceeded 24 hours in length (yet were less than or equal to 60 days) was approximately 92 hours (or 3.8 days). The median long-term trip duration was 48 hours. Respondents who departed from marina wet slips and home docks tended to spend an above-average number of hours on the water (121.6 and 140.7 hours, respectively). Respondents who launched from ramp s and accessed the waterways from marina dry storage facilities tended to have shorter overnight trip durations (Table 18b; Question 3). Table 18b. Trip Duration by Waterway Access Category for Overnight Trips (Combined Trips: Trip duration > 24 hours < 60 days). Overnighters (in hours) ---------------------------------------------Access Category Mean 95% C.I. Median Boat Ramp 43.5 {37.5 to 49.5} 32 Shoreline/Causeway Marina Wet Slip 121.6* {81.4 to 161.9} 72 Dry Storage Facility 59.1 {38.2 to 80.0} 34 Home Dock 140.7* {94.9 to 186.5} 60 Condo Dock 88.4 31 Overall 92.6 {75.0 to 110.3} 48 Denotes above-average on-water travel time / trip duration.

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44 Survey responses suggest a year-round boati ng season in the Sarasota County study region, with a peak-use period running from April th rough July and an off-peak period from December through February. May is the peak-use month for survey respondents, with an average 4.56 trips per boater reported. January is the month with the lowest average number of reported boating trips, with approximately 2.81 trips per survey respondent (Tables 19a; Question 8). Table 19a. Boat Trips: Monthly Averages (trips / boater / month). Monthly Top-4 % of Month n average rank Trips total January 1,329 2.81 3,744 6.3 February 1,329 3.05 4,059 6.8 March** 1,329 3.77 5,016 8.4 April** 1,329 4.31* 3 5,736 9.6 May** 1,329 4.56* 1 6,067 10.1 June** 1,329 4.48* 2 5,953 10.0 July 1,329 4.23* 4 5,620 9.4 August 1,329 3.94* 5,241 8.8 September 1,329 3.76 5,004 8.4 October 1,329 3.75 4,993 8.3 November 1,329 3.39 4,508 7.5 December 1,329 2.88 3,826 6.4 Total = 59,773 trips Overall Monthly Average of approx. 3.8 trips / boater / month Denotes months in which average number of trips exceed the overall monthly average of 3.8 trips / boater / month. ** Denotes peak months (top-4 ranked values, from monthly averages); shown in descending order (from high to low).

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45 On average, there were 17.60 boat trips per respondent during the peak-use boating period (which runs from April through July based on average monthly trip estimates from Question 8). Ramp users generated the greatest number of total trips (on average) during the peak-use period followed by home dock users. Boaters wh o accessed the water from marina wet slips and dry storage facilities gene rated a less than average number of boat trips during this period. Respondents who departed from condo docks tended to generate the least number of trips (approximately 14.79 trips on average) during th e peak-use period (Table 19b; Question 8). Table 19b. Boat Trips During Peak Season by Waterway Access Category. Trips/boater (AprilJuly) -------------------------------------Access Category n Total Average Median Rank* Ramp 510 9,173 17.98** 15.0 1 Shoreline/Causeway*** 3 16 5.33 4.0 Marina Wet Slip 135 2,211 16.37 12.0 4 Dry Storage Facility 144 2,486 17.26 15.5 3 Home Dock 502 8,987 17.90** 15.0 2 Condo Dock 34 503 14.79 13.5 Overall n = 1,328 23,376 17.60 15.0 *Based on average values. ** Denotes at or above the average value. ***Small sample size.

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46 Overall, survey respondents averaged about 45 boating trips per year, with a median of 36 trips. Boaters departing from home docks tended to generate the greatest number of boat trips per year (47.3). Dry storage facility, boat ra mp, and marina wet slip users accounted for 44.9, 43.9, and 42.7 trips per year (on average), resp ectively. Condo dock users generated the fewest number of trips per ye ar, with an average of approximately 38 trips (Table 19c; Question 8). Table 19c. Yearly Boat Trip Statistics by Departure Category. Trips/Boater (Year) ---------------------------------------------Access Category n Total Average Median Rank* Boat Ramp 510 22,389 43.9 35 3 Shoreline/Causeway*** 3 54 18.0 8 Marina Wet Slip 135 5,768 42.7 35 4 Dry Storage Facility 144 6,474 44.9 39 2 Home Dock 502 23,760 47.3** 37 1 Condo Dock 35 1,328 37.9 30 5 Overall n = 1,329 59,773 44.9 36 Based on average values; ** Denotes an above-average value. *** Small sample size (re sults not necessarily representative of group).

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47 Trip-day information obtained from survey resp ondents was used to co mpare the number of weekday versus weekend trips by waterway access category. Of the 1,886 total reported trips, 55.30% were taken on a weekend (Saturday/ Sunday) and 44.69% on a weekday (Monday through Friday). Two-thirds of boat trips that initiated from ramps tended to occur on the weekend (61.72% of trips on a weekend and 38.27% on a weekday). By contrast, a large majority of trips made by survey respondents who departed from marina wet slips or condo docks tended to fall on weekdays. Trips associat ed with survey respondents who accessed the water from dry storage facilities or home docks tended to be fairly evenly split between weekdays and weekend (Table 19d; Question 4). Table 19d. Boater Trip Days: Weekday versus Weekend Trips. Weekday Weekend Total Access Category trips % trips % trips Boat Ramp 333 38.27 537 61.72 870 Shoreline/Causeway 3 50.00* 3 50.00* 6 Marina Wet Slip 108 56.25 84 43.75 192 Marina Dry Storage 69 48.59 73 51.40 142 Home Dock 311 48.29 333 51.70 644 Condo Dock 19 59.37* 13 40.62 32 Overall 843 44.69 1043 55.30 1,886 Small sample size (not necessarily representative of group).

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48 Rationale for Selecting Depa rture Sites and Travel Routes This section characterizes th e rationale for selecting depa rture sites (e.g., marina, ramp, dock), and travel routes. The top five reasons cited by surv ey respondents for selecting a de parture site were if it (1) had adequate parking (top-ranked response); (2) facilitated easy boat laun ch and retrieval; (3) had safe and secure parking; (4) had a short wa it to launch; and (5) was proximate to favorite boating spots/destinations (Table 20; Question 16). Note that lower average numerical score indicates greater importance. Table 20. Reasons for Selecting a Fa vorite Departure/Launch Site. Response* Reason/Description ----------------------------Count (n) Average Rank** 1 Deep-water access 796 2.25 9 2 Availability of restrooms 783 2.58 10 3 No parking / launch fee 768 1.91 8 4 Well-marked access channels 801 1.89 7 5 Proximity to favorite boating spots 793 1.84 5 6 Adequate parking 804 1.48 1 7 Availability of fishing supplies 773 2.82 11 8 Short wait to launch 776 1.78 4 9 Gas, pump-out, maintenance service 790 2.89 12 10 Nearby amenities (e.g. restaurants) 779 2.97 13 11 Proximity to home 813 1.86 6 12 Ease of launching/retrieving boat 783 1.57 2 13 Safe and secure parking 796 1.60 3 14 Other reason: mixed/comments 111 Note: Count (n) is out of 1,331 total survey respondents to question 16; Average response based on Key below; ** Ranking: from most important to least important (reasons 1-13 only) Key: 1 Strongly agree ( very important) 2 Agree (important) 3 Neutral 4 Disagree (somewhat unimportant) 5 Strongly disagree (very unimportant)

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49 The top five reasons for selecting a favorite trav el route included (a) to enjoy scenic beauty (top-ranked response); (b) to avoid congested ar eas; (c) well marked channels; (d) quick access to favorite boating spots; and (e) avoida nce of shallow water (Table 21; Question 9). Table 21. Reasons for Selecting a Favorite Travel Route. Response* Reason/Description ----------------------------Count (n) Average Rank** 1 Avoid congested areas 1,303 1.76 2 2 Avoid shallow water 1,299 2.08 5 3 Good fishing 924 2.40 7 4 Prefer well-marked channels 1,301 1.77 3 5 Prefer calm protected waters 1,293 2.21 6 6 Avoid speed 1,281 2.64 8 7 None are important just cruise around 1,179 3.55 10 8 Easy access to supplies or fuel 1,266 2.74 9 9 Quick access to favorite boating spots 1,269 2.00 4 10 Enjoy scenic beauty 1,292 1.60 1 11 Other reason 189 Note: Count(n) is out of 1,331 total survey respondents. Average response based on Key below; ** Ranking: from most important to least important (reasons 1-13 only) Key: 1 Strongly agree (very important) 2 Agree (important) 3 Neutral 4 Disagree (somewhat unimportant) 5 Strongly disagree (very unimportant)

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50 Boater Activity Profile This section presents a summ ary of recreational boating activ ities reported by survey respondents. The results are ba sed on answers to Question 18 and reflect a ranking of chosen activities. Respondents were asked to choose, from an activity list, all of the activities in which they engage on a typical pleasure boatin g trip. Count is, therefore, equa l to the total nu mber of times a given activity was chos en. [Note: Since ma ny respondents sel ected multiple activ ities from the list, the column of percentages will sum to more th an 100%.] The top six activities (by rank) are identified in each table. Fishing and cruising ranked as the leading activities, with approxi mately two-thirds of survey respondents marking these two categories as thei r primary activities during a typical boating trip. Visiting restaurants was the third-most popular ac tivity (about 54%) followed by sightseeing and nature viewing (each accounting for about 46% of survey respondents). Socializing ranked sixth, an act ivity that was identified by ro ughly 45% of the boaters who responded to the survey (T able 22; Question 18). Table 22. Boaters Activity Sta tistics (entire sample). Percentage of Activity Count (n) respondents Rank Beach Picnicking 478 35.91% Nature Viewing 615 46.21% 5 Sightseeing 616 46.28% 4 Cruising 845 63.49% 2 Daytime Anchoring 366 27.50% Socializing 605 45.45% 6 Diving 194 14.58% Overnight Anchoring 149 11.9% Visit Restaurants 715 53.72% 3 Fishing 890 66.87% 1 Sailing 110 8.26% Swimming 550 41.32% Skiing/Water-sports 161 12.10% Other 64 4.81% Note: Count (n) reflects the numb er of respondents that marked a given activity out of the sample of n=1,331 respondents.

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51 Fishing ranked as the leading activity among survey respondents who launched from boat ramps, with 80.66% acknowledging that they fi shed during a typical boating trip. Swimming, cruising, nature viewing, and restaurant visi ts rounded out the top five responses. Beach picnicking and sightseeing were tied for 6th place. The top six activities were chosen by at least 41% of all survey res pondents as activities in which they engaged during a typical boating trip. Sailing and overnight anchoring ranked lowest on th e list, collectiv ely accounting for less than 10% of activities reported by respondents who depa rted from boat ramps (Table 23a; Question 18). Table 23a. Boaters Activity Statistics: Boat Ramp Group Percentage of Activity Count (n) respondents Rank Beach Picnicking 212 41.41% 6 (tie) Nature Viewing 223 43.55% 4 Sightseeing 212 41.41% 6 (tie) Cruising 258 50.39% 3 Daytime Anchoring 123 24.02% Socializing 196 38.28% Diving 105 20.51% Overnight Anchoring 34 6.64% Visit Restaurants 213 41.60% 5 Fishing 413 80.66% 1 Sailing 5 0.98% Swimming 266 51.95% 2 Skiing/Water-sports 86 16.80% Other 17 3.32% Results are based on the 512 respondents.

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52 Cruising was by far the number one activity for boaters who depart ed from marina wet slips, with over 80% indicating that they engaged in this activity during a typical boating trip. Socializing and restaurant visitation (57.04% and 52.59% of res pondents, respectively) also were top responses. Sightseeing and nature view ing came in fourth and fifth place (accounting for 46.67% and 40% of respondents, respectivel y). Daytime anchoring was sixth on the list with a respectable 33.33%. Only 5.19% of su rvey respondents engaged in skiing / watersportsthe least likely activity of boaters acce ssing the water from marina wet slips (Table 23b; Question 18). Table 23b. Boaters Activity Statistics: Marina Wet Slip Group Percentage of Activity Count respondents Rank Beach Picnicking 19 14.07% Nature Viewing 54 40.00% 5 Sightseeing 63 46.67% 4 Cruising 112 82.96% 1 Daytime Anchoring 45 33.33% 6 Socializing 77 57.04% 2 Diving 10 7.41% Overnight Anchoring 44 32.59% Visit Restaurants 71 52.59% 3 Fishing 42 31.11% Sailing 38 28.15% Swimming 35 25.93% Skiing/Water-sports 7 5.19% Other 9 6.67% Results are based on n = 135 respondents

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53 Cruising was the top-ranked ac tivity among survey respondents who departed from dry-storage facilities, with a 70.14% resp onse rate; followed by visiting restaurants (64.58%), fishing (61.11%), sightseeing (47.92%), and socializ ing (46.53%). Nature viewing deserved an honorable mention, as it was an activity also identified by al most half of the respondents (44.44%). Less than 10% of re spondents who depart ed from dry-storage facilities identified diving, sailing or overnight an choring as typical activities (T able 23c; Question 18). Table 23c. Boaters Activity Statistics: Marina Dry Storage Group. Percentage of Activity Count respondents Rank Beach Picnicking 43 29.86% Nature Viewing 64 44.44% 6 Sightseeing 69 47.92% 4 Cruising 101 70.14% 1 Daytime Anchoring 39 27.08% Socializing 67 46.53% 5 Diving 7 4.86% Overnight Anchoring 3 2.08% Visit Restaurants 93 64.58% 2 Fishing 88 61.11% 3 Sailing 4 2.78% Swimming 55 38.19% Skiing/Water-sports 16 11.11% Other 2 1.39% Results are based on n = 144 respondents

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54 Cruising was the top ranked activity for boa ters who accessed Sarasota County waterways from home docks; almost 70% of respondents ac knowledged that they enga ged in this activity while on a typical boating excursion. Other t op activities included fi shing (64.94%), visiting restaurants (62.75%), nature viewing (51.20%), so cializing (50%), and sightseeing (49.60%). Over one-third of home dock users engaged in beach picnicking and swimming activities. The least likely activities of home dock users included overnight anchoring, sailing, and skiing / water-sports (Tab le 23d; Question 18). Table 23d Boaters Activity Statistics: Home Dock Group. Percentage of Activity Count respondents Rank Beach Picnicking 195 38.84% Nature Viewing 257 51.20% 4 Sightseeing 249 49.60% 6 Cruising 348 69.32% 1 Daytime Anchoring 150 29.88% Socializing 251 50.00% 5 Diving 70 13.94% Overnight Anchoring 62 12.35% Visit Restaurants 315 62.75% 3 Fishing 326 64.94% 2 Sailing 56 11.16% Swimming 185 36.85% Skiing/Water-sports 51 10.16% Other 35 6.97% Results are based on n = 502 respondents

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55 Cruising (71.43% of respondents), visiting restaurants (62.86%), and sightseeing (62.86%) were the leading activities cited by responde nts who departed from condo docks. Other prominent activities included fishing (57.14%), nature viewing (45.71 %), and socializing (37.14%). The least likely activities were divi ng and skiing / water-sports, each accounting for less than 6% of the activities engaged in by condo dock users (Table 23e; Question 18). Table 23e Boaters Activity Statistics: Condo Dock Group. Percentage of Activity Count respondents Rank Beach Picnicking 8 22.86% Nature Viewing 16 45.71% 5 Sightseeing 22 62.86% 2 (tie) Cruising 25 71.43% 1 Daytime Anchoring 9 25.71% Socializing 13 37.14% 6 Diving 2 5.71% Overnight Anchoring 6 17.14% Visit Restaurants 22 62.86% 2 (tie) Fishing 20 57.14% 4 Sailing 5 14.29% Swimming 7 20.00% Skiing/Water-sports 1 2.86% Other 1 2.86% Results are based on n = 35 respondents (small sample)

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56 Perceived Congestion The summary of perceived congestion is based on responses to Questions 19, which defined congestion as the presen ce of too many other boaters. Approximately 43% of survey respondents answ ered, yes to Question 19 indicating that they had avoided or left congested areas while boating. The boat ramp user group reported the highest percentage of perceived congestion, with over 51% answering Yes to Question 19. Survey respondents that depart ed from home docks were a distant second with 42.71% acknowledging the presence of too many boate rs (Table 24; Questions 19 = Yes). Table 24. Analysis of Congestion: Proportion of Survey Respondents that Indicated they had avoided or left their Favorite Spots/Destinations Due to Congestion. Answered Access Category n Yes to Q19 Percentage Rank Boat Ramp 502 260 51.79%* 1 Shoreline/Causeway 3 0 0.00% Marina Wet Slip 129 32 24.80% 5 Dry Storage Facility 141 51 36.17% 4 Home Dock 494 211 42.71% 2 Condo Dock 33 12 36.36% 3 Overall 1,302 566 43.47% Denotes above-average value.

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57 Chapter 6. Perceived Detractors and Needs Overview This chapter summarizes the responses to the following survey questions: Question 26. What detracts most from your boating experience? Question 27. What is needed most to improve your boating experience? A content analysis of the responses to each of the two questions yielded a typology of principal detractors (problems) and principal needs (solutions). Responses with shared general themes were grouped into primary categories, with more focused sub-categorie s identified where possible. The analysis was based on (1) information from n=973 returned surveys and (2) information obtained from the n=358 Sarasota County respondents to the 2003 Tampa and Sarasota Bay recreational boating characterization survey. Some responses were excluded from this analysis as not being amenable to planning or management intervention (e.g., responses to Question 26 such as work, weather, or cleaning the boat or to Question 27 such as a bigger boat, or new engines). In this chapter, total responses therefore refers to total anal yzed responses. Note that some respondents listed multiple detractors and needs so the number of responses to these questions is greater than the number of surveys received. The re sults of the content analysis are presented in aggregate (all four access categor ies were grouped as one) with ra nkings based on the percentage received for each principal de tractor or need. Though some groups were comparatively overrepresented (ramp and dock users) or under-represen ted (marina wet slip and dry storage users) in terms of the number of surveys received, the resp onse rates for the access gr oups garnered for this study are close to the ratios obtained in a 2005 statewide survey of boaters (Swett et al., 2005). As such, the results of the content analysis likely re flect the ranking of conc erns of all boaters (all access types aggregated) in proportion to each groups "place" in Floridas boating population. Detractors Table 25 lists the primary categories of boating experience detractors. The leading category, with more than twice as many responses as the runner-up category and with more than one-third (37.3%) of the n=1,620 total responses, addressed a perceived lack of courtesy and/or seamanship in other boaters such as fa ilure to observe safe, considerate, or regulated boating practices through disregard or ignorance). Responses citing congestion either in the water or at ramps, made up the second-leadi ng detractor category, with 15.0% of the total responses. Close behind were infrastructure deficiencies that emphasized quality issues (14.0% of the total). Altered environment detractors (10.9% of the total), especially red tide, and excessive regulation (10.6% of total responses) with a focus on manatee, speed, and no-wake zones ranked fourth and fifth, respectively. Ranking sixth a nd comprising the final si gnificant detractor group were water access concerns regarding primarily a lack of boat ramps and ramp parking (9.8% of the total). Only a combined 2.4% of the total indicated either that too little regulation was a principal detractor or that no detractors figured in their boating experience. (Note: No detractors was specifically stated, not inferred from a lack of response.)

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58 Table 25. Boating Detractors by Primary Category. Primary Detractor Category Total Number of Responses* Percent of Total Rank Lack of Courtesy and/or Seamanship 603 37.3 1 Congestion 243 15.0 2 Infrastructure Deficiencies 227 14.0 3 Altered Environment 177 10.9 4 Excessive Regulation 172 10.6 5 Lack of Water Access 159 9.8 6 No Detractors 26 1.6 7 Lack of Regulation / Enforcement 13 0.8 8 TOTALS 1,620 100 *The summed Total Number of Responses does not equal the number of surveys returned because many survey respondents chose not to answer this question, and even more id entified multiple detractors in response to this question. Lack of Courtesy and/or Seamanship in other boaters, the leading detractor category, encompassed all perceptions of bad boating behavior, whether applied to bad bo aters in general or to specific user groups. These sub-categories are listed in Table 26. Pe rceptions ranged from reckless or inconsiderate practices (e.g., sp eeding too near other vessels or slowness in boat launching and retrieval), to inexperien ce (e.g., weekend rentals) to noncompliance with established laws and precedents (e.g., ignoring no wake zones on the ICW). Bad boaters in general made up 38.7% of the responses in this cat egory and comprise the leading sub-ca tegory when all detractor types are considered, with 14.4% of the total response number. Unsafe operators of PWCs (20.6% of category), large boats generating large wakes in proximity to smaller craft (15.8% of category), and speeding powerboats (11.6% of category) were cited independ ently in significan t numbers. A lack of courtesy and/or launching/retrieval ab ility on the part of ramp users comprised 4.6% of this category and 1.7% of all detractors cited. Additiona l sub-categories with less than 2% each of the total response number in cluded aspects of boat noise operator alcohol use and inexperienced rental users. Table 26. Lack of Courtesy and/or Seamanship Detractors by Sub-Category. Primary Detractor/Sub-Category Response Number Percent of Category Overall Percentage* Lack of Courtesy and/or Seamanship 603 100.0 37.3 Bad Boaters in General 234 38.7 14.4 PWCs 124 20.6 7.7 Large Boat Wakes 95 15.8 5.9 Speeding Power Boats 70 11.6 4.3 Ramp Users 28 4.6 1.7 Noisy Power Boats 19 3.2 1.2 Drinking Boaters 17 2.8 1.1 Rentals 16 2.7 1.0 *Overall percentage refers to the percenta ge of all tallied responses to Question 26.

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59 Too many boaters was the sen timent expressed in 15.0% of all responses to Question 26, making congestion the second leading category. Site-spe cific and time-specific aspects of congestion were noted and make up the sub-categor ies in Table 27. Approximately 75% of category responses were fairly even ly divided between congestion on the waterways and at ramps, with the resulting safety and access concer ns. Ramp congestion was tied by many to the above-mentioned delays in launchi ng and retrieving, and, in turn, to the display of impatient, angry behaviors. Weekend and holiday boat traffic was considered a principal detractor in 33 responses (13.6% of category), with a consequent avoidance of thes e times on the part of some. A much lesser number targeted specific water areas (9.1% of category), such as overcrowded fishing spots or water sport areas. Table 27. Congestion Detractors by Sub-Category. Primary Detractor / Sub-Category Response Number Percent of Category Overall Percentage* Congestion 243 100.0 15.0 On Waterways 104 42.7 6.4 At Ramps 84 34.6 5.2 Congestion (at specific areas) 22 9.1 1.4 On Weekends and Holidays 33 13.6 2.0 *Overall percentage refers to the percentage of all tallied responses to Question 26. The third-leading detractor category dealt with infrastructure deficiencies, as itemized in Table 28. A disproportionate number of responses accounting for about two-thirds (65.6%) of this category, addressed the fa ilure to provide and maintain dredging also stated as the failure to alleviate shoaling. Difficulty accessing the Gulf due to the lack of dredging of passes (specifically Big Sarasota Pass, New Pass, and Midnight Pass ) accounted for 45 responses, or 30.2% of this sub-category. Shoaling in creeks (e .g., Phillippi), canals (e.g., Sies ta Key), and bays was also cited. Smaller numbers (together, just 1.5% of total responses) addressed channel mark and waterway sign deficiencies, as being confusing, inadequate, or not current. Inadequate public ramp and marina facilities were deemed a leading detractor in 14 and 6 responses respectively. Ramp quality issues ranged from their being t oo steep or too shallow to their not providing amenities such as bathrooms, fresh water, or fish-cleaning stations. Similarly, though in smaller numbers, responses targeted marina facilities lack of full service, such as fuel dock or pump-out station availability. Sub-categorie s involving deficient destination infrastructure were dominated by the lack of waterfront restaurants (9.3% of category and 1.3% of total), followed by the lack of designated water sport areas (4.0% of category).

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60 Table 28. Infrastructure Deficiency Detractors by Sub-Category. Primary Detractor / Sub-Category Response Number Percent of Category Overall Percentage* Infrastructure Deficiencies 227 100.0 14.0 Dredging 149 65.6 9.1 Waterfront Restaurants 21 9.3 1.3 Channel Marks 18 7.9 1.1 Ramp Facilities 14 6.2 0.9 Designated Water Sport Areas 9 4.0 0.6 Waterway Signs 7 3.1 0.4 Marina Facilities 6 2.6 0.4 Beaches, Artificial Reefs 3 1.3 0.2 *Overall percentage refers to the percentage of all tallied responses to Question 26. Detractors focusing on altered natural environment constituted the fourth largest category, with 10.9% of all responses (Table 29). Perhaps because of outbreaks occurring during the study period, red tide was named the principal detractor in 6.4% of all responses, making it tied for the fourth highest sub-ca tegory overall. Other sources of water pollution including the presence of trash in the water subsumed the second highest number of responses in this category (26.5% of category and 2.9% of to tal). Loss of natural areas to shore development and a perceived shortage of fish populations together accounted for 26 responses, or 1.6% of the total overall. Table 29. Altered Environment Detractors by Sub-Category. Primary Detractor/Sub-Category Response Number Percent of Category Overall Percentage* Altered Environment 177 100.0 10.9 Red Tide 104 58.9 6.4 Water Trash/Pollution 47 26.5 2.9 Shore Development/Lack of Natural Areas 10 5.6 0.6 Lack of Fish 16 9.0 1.0 *Overall percentage refers to the percenta ge of all tallied responses to Question 26. The fifth category of boating experience detractors dealt with perceptions of excessive boating regulation (Table 30). Of these, restraints im posed by manatee zones generated the largest response number (36.7% of category and 3.9% of total). Of similar nature were responses indicating excessive no wake zones (29.1% of category) and speed zones (27.3% of category) with cited concerns including ex cessive length, secondary conges tion, and unreasonable time for Gulf access. These three boat speed regulatory concerns accounted for 93.1% of category responses and 10% of th e total responses.

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61 Table 30. Excessive Regulation Detractors by Sub-Category. Primary Detractor/Sub-Category Response Number Percent of Category Overall Percentage* Excessive Regulation 172 100.0 10.6 Manatee Zones 63 36.7 3.9 No Wake Zones 50 29.1 3.1 Speed Zones 47 27.3 2.9 Patrol Harassment 6 3.5 0.4 Fishing Regulations 3 1.7 0.2 Boating Regulations 3 1.7 0.2 Overall percentage refers to the percentage of all tallied responses to Question 26. The sixth-leading detractor category dealt with aspects of compromised water access (Table 31). Paramount wa s the reported lack of ramp parking, accounting for 57.9% of all responses in this category and comprising the se venth highest sub-category overall (5.7% of total responses). Within this group, a significant numbe r further defined the de traction as a lack of parking space for trucks with trailers. Full parkin g lots by a very early ho ur, tickets incurred for parking outside designated areas, and other limite d access repercussions such as sometimes the ramp parking lot is full after I put my boat in the water were reiterated. Independent of parking, insufficient ramp numbers was the second leading access detrac tion (28.3% of category). By comparison, a shortage of marinas/slips was principal detractor in only 10 responses (6.3% of category), half of which specifically cited the loss of marinas to condominiums. Shortage of public dock space at marinas and popular wa terfront restaurants and dry storage facilities completed the lack of access considerations. The lack of marinas and dry storage however is less likely to be a concern to those boaters who alread y have access to these facilities. As such, this category may represent a more important detractor especially to the large segment of the boating population in Florida not specifically targeted by the survey and who do not already keep their vessels in these limited and costly facilities. Table 31. Lack of Water Access Detractors by Sub-Category. Primary Detractor/Sub-Category Response Number Percent of Category Overall Percentage* Lack of Water Access 159 100.0 9.8 Ramp Parking 92 57.9 5.7 Ramps 45 28.3 2.8 Marinas/Slips 10 6.3 0.6 Dockage 8 5.0 0.5 Dry Storage 4 2.5 0.2 *Overall percentage refers to the percenta ge of all tallied responses to Question 26. Responses addressing a perceived lack of regulation or enforcement as a detractor were few in number (13 responses, or 0.8% of tota l) and fragmented into the several minor subcategories given in Table 32. The six responses wei ghing in for too little boat speed management

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62 (i.e., via speed zones or manatee zones) comprised only 0.4% of the total responses. Given the substantial detractor subcategories of speeding pow erboats and large boat wakes (see Table 33) it would appear that this aspect of boati ng was more readily s een in terms of a need for more patrols and regulation/enforcement of ex isting zones and regulations (as articulated in Question 27). Table 32. Lack of Regulation/Enforcement Detractors by Sub-Category. Primary Detractor/Sub-Category Response Number Percent of Category Overall Percentage* Lack of Regulation / Enforcement 13 100.0 0.8 Speed Zones (no wake) 4 30.8 0.3 Crab Trap Proliferation 3 23.0 0.2 Manatee Protection 2 15.4 0.1 Ramp Parking for Trailers Only 2 15.4 0.1 Fishing Regulations / Catch Limits 2 15.4 0.1 Overall percentage refers to the percentage of all tallied responses to Question 26. The leading 10 detractor sub-categories accounted for 1,119 (or 70%) of the n = 1,620 total analyzed responses to question 26 (Table 33). A significant majority (14.4% of total responses) cited a lack of courtesy and/or seamanship on the part of other boaters in general as the greatest detraction from their boating experience. When unsafe operators of PWCs (ranked third), large wake generators (ranked sixth), and speeding powerboats (ranked ninth) are included in the other boater behavior consid eration, the group expands to almost one-third (32.3%) of total responses. The perc eived infrastructure failure of maintenance dredging particularly of Big Sarasota Pa ss, Midnight Pass, and New Pass ra nked second with 9.2% of total responses. Tying with waterway congestion for fourth place was the environmental effect of red tide The lack of ramp parking, negatively impacting water access, ranked seventh. The imposition of too many and ill-conceived mana tee zones completes the 10 leading detractor sub-categories. Table 33. Top-10 Detractors by Sub-Category. Detractor Sub-Category Response Number Overall Percentage Rank General lack of courtesy/seamanship 234 14.4 1 Lack of Dredging (particularly the passes) 149 9.2 2 PWCs 124 7.7 3 Red Tide 104 6.4 4 (tie) Waterway Congestion 104 6.4 4 (tie) Large Boat Wakes 95 5.9 6 Lack of Ramp Parking 92 5.7 7 Ramp Congestion 84 5.2 8 Speeding Powerboats 70 4.3 9 Manatee Zones 63 3.9 10

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63 Needs Analysis of responses to Question 27 s uggested seven primary categories, as listed in Table 34. Some responses addressing solutions to problems (needs) had themes mirroring those of the problems themselves (detractors). There we re 112 fewer responses to Question 27 than to Question 26, and the areas of emphasis shifte d in hierarchy somewhat. Many responders took advantage of Question 27 to address boating concerns other than those stated in their previously given detractors. It also appear ed that certain detractors (e.g., boa ter lack of courtesy and/or seamanship) did not suggest corrective measures as readily as others (e.g., shoaling). For example, even if more regulation enforcement and boater education/information categories are combined, the total response number does not make up a needs preponderance comparable to the bad boater behavi or detractor category. The leading response category to Question 27, with 34.5% of the total responses (n = 1,508), was the need for infrastructure improvement. Many facets were addressed, from those ensuring safe passage to those providing for destination entert ainment. Needs categorized under increased access ranked second (21.5% of total), followed by more regulation/enforcement (17.2% of total) of boat operation on the water and at ramps. In descending order, the next three categories, each garnering similar nu mbers of responses, were aspects of boater education, environmental protection and the desire for less regulation (e.g., speed constraints). Finally, those responses indicating no needs comprised the seventh and smallest category, with 3.6% of the total. Table 34. Boating Needs by Primary Category. Primary Needs Category Total Number Responses Percent of Total Rank Infrastructure Improvement 521 34.5 1 Increased Access 324 21.5 2 More Regulation / Enforcement 259 17.2 3 Boater Education / Information 129 8.6 4 Environmental Protection 114 7.6 5 Less Regulation 106 7.0 6 No Needs 55 3.6 7 TOTALS 1,508 100 The Infrastructure Improvement category (Tab le 35) was dominated by expressions of the need for dredging (43.6% of category and 15.1% of the tota l responses); this sub-category was dominated in turn by 90 responses (39.0% of dr edging needs) of open Midnight Pass. Desired dredging of New Pass and Big Sarasota Pass accounted for additional 19 and 39 responses respectively, and 39 responses simply stated ope n the passes to the Gulf, such that 81.9% of dredging needs related to the Gulf passes. Improved channel marks constituted the second highest sub-category (17.9% of cat egory). The need for improved ramp facilities (10.2% of category) encompassed many aspects, ranging from larger size and greater dock space to amenities such as freshwater rinse areas and bathrooms. The need for infrastructure to

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64 accommodate boating activities collectively subs umed 23.6% of the category. In descending order, waterside restaurants garnered 9.4% of category, artificial reefs accounted for 6.3%, beaches and picnic areas and parks 4.6% of category, and water sport areas 3.3%. Finally, needs for improved signage particularly as to hazard alerts, and for full service marinas (e.g., to accommodate haul-outs and heavy maintenance) completed the category, with less than 2.5% each of the total response number. Table 35. Infrastructure Improvement Needs by Sub-Category. Primary Need/Sub-Category Response Number Percent of Category Overall Percentage* Infrastructure Improvement 521 100.0 34.5 Channel and Pass Dredging 227 43.6 15.1 Channel Marks 93 17.9 6.2 Ramp Facilities 53 10.2 3.5 Waterside Restaurants 49 9.4 3.2 Artificial Reefs 33 6.3 2.2 Beaches, Picnic Areas, Parks 24 4.6 1.6 Designated Water Sport Areas 17 3.3 1.1 Full Service Marinas 13 2.4 0.8 Waterway Signs 12 2.3 0.8 Overall percentage refers to the percentage of all responses tallied from Question 27. The second highest category, addr essing water access needs, wa s primarily about the need for ramps and ramp parking (Table 36). With 75.6% of the category responses and 21.5% of the total responses, this was th e leading sub-category overall. Whereas ramps and ramp parking were considered separately in th e detractor analysis, they were mo re often linked in responses to Question 27 and so were made a single sub-cate gory. Specific places cited as needing greater ramp access included the east-side of Sarasota Bay, in town Sarasota, and City Island (Bayfront Park). The need for more marinas and slips was a distant second with 11.1% of category, followed by more public dockage access with 8.0%. Water access via anchorages and public moorings was cited as a principal ne ed in nine responses and dry storage facilities in eight, together comprising 5.3% of this category. Again, the need for more slips and dry storage is likely less of an issue to those boaters targeted by the su rvey that already have a ccess to these facilities. Table 36. Increased Access Needs by Sub-Category. Primary Need/Sub-Category Response Number Percent of Category Overall Percentage* Increased Access 324 100.0 21.5 Ramps and Ramp Parking 245 75.6 16.2 Marinas/Slips 36 11.1 2.4 Public and Transient Dockage 26 8.0 1.8 Anchorages and Public Moorings 9 2.8 0.6 Dry Storage Facilities 8 2.5 0.5 Overall percentage refers to the percentage of all responses tallied from Question 27

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65 Expressions of need for more boating regul ation or better enforcement of existing regulations comprised the third highest category, with multiple fairly equally weighted subcategories (Table 37). A greater patrol presence was desired both on the water (18.1% of category) and as a newly instituted service at ramps (9.7% of category). The latter 25 responses, with several targeting 10th Street ramp, called for an official (patrol or dock master) to direct the launch and retrieval traffic in order to maintain order and stop disputes. Specific suggestions were made for numbering systems or delay fines to regulate traffic flow particularly during peak periods. The need for mandatory boat operator licensure accounted for 12.0% of category responses. Speed control effected through better enforcement of speed zones or no wake zones was a principal need in 56 responses, or just over 21% of the category. More regulations governing PWC operation accounted for 15.1% of the category and better enforcement of boating regulations in general comprised 13.9% of category (2.4% of total responses). Finally, greater management directed at waterway congestion boating under the influence, and the proliferation of crab traps near channels made up the remaining 25 responses in this category. Table 37. More Regulation/Enforcement Needs by Sub-Category. Primary Need/Sub-Category Response Number Percent of Category Overall Percentage* More Regulation/Enforcement 259 100.0 17.2 Water Patrols 47 18.1 3.1 PWC Regulations 39 15.1 2.5 Boating Regulation Enforcement in General 36 13.9 2.4 Speed Zones 34 13.1 2.3 Operator Licensure 31 12.0 2.1 Ramp Patrols 25 9.7 1.7 No Wake Zones 22 8.5 1.5 Waterway Congestion 17 6.5 1.1 Drinking and Boating 5 1.9 0.3 Crap Traps/Commercial Fishing 3 1.2 0.2 Overall percentage refers to the percentage of all responses tallied from Question 27. Improved water quality (i.e., less pollution, run-off, or trash) accounted for more than one third of all responses (39.4% of category 3.0% of total responses) directed at environmental protection needs (Table 38). Th e need to better control red tide outbreaks was tallied separately and characterized 21 responses, or 21% of the ca tegory. A total of 25 responses encompassed the less shore development sub-category, with seven responses in this group specifically calling for more natural areas. More fish was deemed most necessary to improve the boating experience in 20.2% of the category re sponses (1.5% of total).

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66 Table 38. Environmental Protection Needs by Sub-Category. Primary Need/Sub-Category Response Number Percent of Category Overall Percentage* Environmental Protection 114 100.0 7.6 Improved Water Quality 45 39.5 3.0 No Red Tide 21 18.4 1.4 Less Shore Development 25 21.9 1.7 More Fish 23 20.2 1.5 Overall percentage refers to the percentage of all responses tallied from Question 27 The need for boater education (Table 39) was cited by 129 respondents and encompassed 8.6% of total responses. The need for training in etiquette and seamanship ranked as the 3rd highest sub-category. While frequently calling for re quired boating courses, such as offered by the USCG, this category also encompassed all expressions of need for more courtesy, safety, skill, or law abidance on the part of other boaters. The need for information primarily focused on more frequent weather reports and better detailed and current charts (11.6% of category). Environmental stewardship and awareness was one of the least reported needs and seems out of place given the relative importance placed on detractors pertaining to the altered environment category. It may be that res pondents attribute environmental negatives including poor water quality, red tide, pollution, and trash as being more related to land-oriented factors. Table 39. Boater Education Needs. Primary Need/Sub-Category Response Number Percent of Category Overall Percentage* Boater Education 129 100.0 8.6 Etiquette/Safety/Skills/R egulations 112 86.8 7.4 Information (e.g., weather; charts) 15 11.6 1.0 Environmental Stewardship 2 1.6 0.1 Overall percentage refers to the percentage of all responses tallied from Question 27 Another 7.0% of total responses conveyed the need for less regulation in order to improve their boating experience (Table 40). Over 90% of these dealt with removing or limiting speed restrictions conferred by manatee zones (33.0% of category), no wake zones (28.3%), or speed zones (28.3% of category). Fewer, shor ter, and more appropriate (e.g., as to location, time of year enforcement) zones were advocated by some, as well as an increased speed limit on the ICW.

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67 Table 40. Less Regulation Needs by Sub-Category. Primary Need/Sub-Category Response Number Percent of Category Overall Percentage* Less Regulation 106 100.0 7.0 Manatee Zones 35 33.0 2.3 No Wake Zones 30 28.3 2.0 Speed Zones 30 28.3 2.0 Boating Regulation in General 9 8.5 0.6 Fishing Regulations 2 1.9 0.1 Overall percentage refers to the percentage of all responses tallied from Question 27. The top 10 needs by subcategory accounted for 946 (or 62.7%) of the n = 1,508 total responses to Question 27 (Table 41). The dominant expressions of need were identified with access, specifically more ramps and ramp parking and with infrastructure in the form of dredging especially of the passes to the Gulf. Together, these top two sub-categories accounted for almost one-third of total responses. Following the need for boater education/courtesy or seamanship skills (ranked 3rd), three other aspects of infrastructure need ranked 4th through 6th. These included improved channel marks (e.g., being lit at night ), better constructed ramp facilities with more amenities, and more waterside restaurants More water police characterized the 7th highest need for an enhanced boa ting experience, followed closely by improved water quality and more regulations aimed at personal watercraft use. More boating regulation or enforcement in general (and with particular respect to speed zones) completed the top ten need sub-categories. Table 41. Top-10 Needs by Sub-Category. Need Sub-Category Response Number Overall Percentage Rank More Ramps and Ramp Parking 245 16.2 1 Dredging of Passes and Channels 227 15.1 2 Etiquette/Safety/Seamanship Skills 112 7.4 3 Channel Marks Improvement 93 6.2 4 Ramp Facility Improvements 53 3.5 5 Waterside Restaurants 49 3.2 6 More Water Patrols 47 3.1 7 Improved Water Quality 45 3.0 8 More PWC Regulations 39 2.6 9 Boating Regulation Enforcement in General 36 2.4 10 Note: 26 responses indicated No needs.

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68 Chapter 7. Conclusions and Recommendations Study Findings The goal of this study, as expressed by the Sarasota County Department of Natural Resources, was to characterize waterway use patter ns and profile boaters th at actively use coastal waterways within and around Sarasota County. Im portant study objectives were (1) to develop spatial databases of waterway use to map boating patterns within a geographic information system (GIS), and (2) to characterize the vessels, activitie s, and inclinations of bo aters that use Sarasota County coastal waterways on the basis of waterw ay access categories that included marina wet slips, dry storage facilities, pub lic ramps, and private docks. In support of the goal and primary objectives, a map-based questionnaire was mailed to 4,650 boaters that represented each of the four target waterway access groups. A total of 973 boaters comple ted and returned the questionnaire, which represents an average re turn rate of approximately 21 percent. A compilation of the responses to a subset of survey questions reveals that the typical survey respondent: Is a Florida resident for at leas t 11 months of the year and is approximately 56 years of age; Has, on average, 16 years of boating experience on Florida waterways and has taken a boating safety or seamanship course; Owns one boat that is either an open fi shing vessel or a power boat with cabin accommodations; Takes an average of three to four boating trips per month, with more trips taken during the late spring and summer months (April through July) and fewer trips during winter months (December through February); Begins their trip at approximately 7AM and spends about 5 hours on the water; Shows a preference for the following water-based activities in order of importance: visiting restaurants, fishing, cruising, sight-seeing, and nature viewin g (this finding affirms the importance of accessible waterfront restaurants to the Sarasota County boating community); Perceives that a lack of seamanship and/or cour tesy by other boaters detracts most from their recreational boating enjoyment, and lastly; Believes that infrastructure improvements a nd better access (e.g., improved channel dredging and marking, and more ramps with better facili ties) and greater enforcement of existing boating regulations would do mo st to improve their recreational boating enjoyment. A GIS density analysis of spatial trip informa tion reported by survey respondents was used to map travel corridors and identify favorite destin ation locales, as well as congestion hot spots. Digitized and mapped trip information, highlight ing density of occurre nce, revealed that

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69 boating is more prevalent in s outhern portions of Sarasota Ba y (e.g., New Pass and Big Sarasota Pass), in and around the Venice Inlet area, and wi thin Roberts Bay (e.g., Intracoastal Waterway and spoil islands). In contrast, the findings indicate that boating is less prevalent, on the whole, in Little Sarasota Bay, Blackburn Bay, and in Sarasota County portions of Lemon Bay. Notwithstanding, the use-density analysis revealed pockets wh ere boating activities cluster, mostly related to the presence of boat ramps and/or restaurants within these less utilized waterways. Sampling Results The sampling method was designed to provide samples of sufficient size to calculate descriptive statistics for each waterway access group, based on a to lerable error of 0.05 and a confidence level of 95 percent. A census of vessels in marinas (were access was permitted) was used to reach boaters whose ve ssels were observed in marina wet slips and at dry storage facilities. Each boater associated with a vessel obse rved in a marina wet s lip or at a dry storage facility received a survey due to the comparativel y small number of vessels associated with these two waterway access categories. In contrast, a random sample was taken of boaters observed using public ramps and associated with private do cks, since the available sample frame for these two access categories exceeded minimum sa mple size requirements. Mail survey returns indicate that samples associated with public ramp and private dock users exceeded a tolerable error of 0.05 and a confidence level of 95 percent. While marina wet slip and dry storage facility categories did not meet this benchmark, and are comparatively underrepresented, the sample sizes obtained for these groups (n=138 marina wet slip and n = 149 dry storage users) were sufficien tly large to allow for the comput ation of descriptive statistics with acceptable confidence intervals. For future comparative analyses, it is recommended that marina wet slip and dry storage facility groups be combined into a single marina category to circumvent statistical problems associated with sample size limitations and lower survey response rates. This would allow for the collection of a larger overall sample size that would approach a maximum tolerable error of 0.05 at the 95 perc ent confidence level. Nonetheless, it was determined that a sufficiently large sample for each of the four primary waterway access groups was obtained for the purposes of the descri ptive analyses con ducted for this study. Notwithstanding, it should be noted that unequal survey return rate s percentages (while being less of an issue with summary statis tics that were applied to specif ic waterway access groups), may result in a ranking bias of detract ors and needs issues towards those groups that responded to the survey in greater numbers (i.e., dock and ramp user s) versus lower relative numbers (i.e., marina wet slip and dry storage users). Th at being said, a content analysis can be applied to specific user categories to alleviate the potential for une qual weighting of aggregated responses. Survey Non-Response Low survey response rates increase the possibility of non-response bias. Non-response bias occurs when a reported value (e.g., number of boating trips per month) deviates from the actual population value due to diffe rences between those individuals who responded to the survey and those who did not. The usual method to in crease response rates, and thus minimize non-

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70 response bias, is to revisit cases that were unproductive (e.g., non-cont acts or refusals ) after initial survey rounds, with the expect ation that some can be convert ed to respondents (Fillion, 1976, Lynn, Clarke, Martin, & Sturgis, 2001). An altern ative yet less robust method involves evaluating waves of survey returns with the assumption that non-responders are more similar to reluctant responders (Green, 1991). The possibility exists that boaters who completed and returned the Sarasota County survey (21 perc ent of the surveys mailed) ma y have provided significantly different responses to questions than would have been provide d by boaters who did not respond (79 percent). Based on the summary analysis, it is hypothesized that indi viduals who completed and returned surveys represent the more motivated and active users of Sa rasota Countys coastal waterways. As such, the number of boating trips per month repor ted by respondents is likely more than the number taken by the average boater. In spite of this potential bi as, an argument can be made that survey results that reflect active boaters who frequently use the resource make for better planning. Nevertheless, an increase in the response rate, by reaching hardtoget respondents, would reduce the potential for non-response bias. Therefore, it is recommended that non-response bias be evaluated by implementing a follow-up telephone survey that targets boaters (within each user group) who did not respond to the initial mail survey. Information obtained from a telephone survey of non-responders can be used to de termine if the number, timing, frequency, and duration of trips reported by respondents reflect average boater trip profiles. In addition to an examination of non-respons e bias, a comparative spatial analysis is recommended to examine information collected from the contemporaneous aerial and mail surveys implemented for Sarasota County as part of this recreational boating characterization study. The analysis would evaluate the extent to which spatial information obtained from the two survey methods are complementary and the degree to which they capture similar (or different) boating patterns. Rasters (i.e., grids or cells) can be used to map and evaluate (1) spatial distributions and patterns of st ationary and moving vessels capt ured by aerial surveys, and (2) destinations and routes identified by mail survey re spondents. Grid cells with statistically similar aerial and mail survey information profiles can be considered to be congruent and those with statistically different use profile s can be considered to be incongruent. Boating patterns can be mapped and compared at different geographic scales of resoluti on to highlight the degree to which spatial information obtained from the two methods are conformant or non-conformant. A comparative spatial analysis can also be used to validate mail and aerial survey information, and offers a means to determine whether or not th e information provided by mail survey respondents is representative (spatially) of the average or ty pical boater in the region. As such, a comparative spatial analysis of aerial and mail survey inform ation would be an important follow-up test for evaluating the possible existence of a spa tial bias related to survey non-response. Boat Ramp Service Area Analysis The spatial and temporal trip-departure data collected in this study provides valuable information on boater use-patterns (e.g., where boa ters typically begin th eir voyages and their onwater destinations). This info rmation may be of importance to county resource managers, as a means for estimating demand and generating waterw ay use profiles by boa ting group and selected facilities. For example, market areas for individual boat ramps can be identified and mapped through a GIS primary service area optimization method developed for Tampa Bay boat ramps

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71 (Sidman et al., 2005). The marine facility servi ce area analysis would us e trip-origin specific survey data to determine the geographic extent of the influence (dis tance thresholds) of a particular facility to attract boaters. This data could be used to project facility demand and the location of potential users. A complementary analysis would evaluate destinations reported by survey respondents to estimate resource pressure indices for speci fic ramps, marinas, and possibly residential canal neighborhoods. This analysis could quantify the pressure placed on existing waterways, facilities, and routes from boaters originating from various types of access points (individually or by category) and the extent to which overall demand exerts pressure on existing bay resources. Geographic overlap in attraction and/or resource pressure placed on existing routes, destinations, facilities, and waterways, could be useful in determining whether use thresholds have been exceeded. In addition, this in formation could be useful in helping to identify appropriate and inappropriate locations for expanding existing or siting future boat launching facilities (e.g., marinas and public boat ramps). Analysis of Seasonal Boating Trends Survey findings suggest that Sarasota County waterways experience a year-round boating season, with a peak-use period between April an d July and an off-peak period from December through February. The survey implemented for this study was timed (in the late spring) to capture peak-use boating trends. As such, the majority of trips reported by survey respondents were taken during the spring and summer mont hs. Accordingly, the informati on obtained from this study may not necessarily represent the trip profiles of seasonal users (i.e., snowbirds) or corresponding use patterns during the fall and winter months. An anal ysis of fall and winter boating trends may be undertaken to augment spatial trip information collected during the spring and summer months. An abridged version of the survey instrument and the accompanying correspondence could be mailed to marina wet slip, marina dry storage, ramp, and private dock users who completed the initial survey and indicated that they would par ticipate in a follow-up mail survey. This could be supplemented with additional surveys of boat ramp users associated with fall and winter periods. This strategy assumes that the vessel populations launching from marina wet slips, dry storage facilities, and private docks would remain relativ ely consistent. An added benefit of continuing the ramp surveys would be to acquire year-round ramp patron information that would support a boat ramp service area analysis described above. A spatial analysis would map and evaluate wa terway use patterns for each season captured by the supplemental mail surveys. A raster (e.g., gr id or cell-based) analysis can be used to determine the relative proportions and distribution of destinations and routes over the seasons. Grid cell weighting can account for seasonal differences between samp le sizes and an analysis of proportions can be used to compare relative use intensities. Those cells with statistically similar weighted use proportions would be considered to have similar seasonal profiles; those with statistically different weighted use proportions would be viewed as having different seasonal profiles. In addition, the timing, frequency, and duration, of seasonal trip s, and the types of activities associated with those trips ca n be statistically evaluated and mapped.

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72 Literature Cited Antonini, G., and Box, P. 1996. A Regional Waterway Systems Management Strategy for Southwest Florida Sea Grant Extension Bulletin 33. Florida Sea Grant. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Antonini, G., Fann, D., and Roat, P. 1999. A Historical Geography of Southwest Florida Waterways Volume One: Anna Maria Sound to Lemon Bay Florida Sea Grant Publication SGEB-47. University of Florid a, Gainesville, Florida. Antonini, G., Swett, R., Schulte, S., and Fann, D. 2000. Regional Waterway Management System for South Sarasota County Technical Document 1. Florida Sea Grant. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Antonini, G., West, N., Sidman, C., Swett, R. 2000. A Recreational Boater-Based Method for Redesigning the NOS Small Craft Chart Florida Sea Grant Publication TP-107. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Antonini, G., Zobler, L., Sheftall, W., Stevely, J., Sidman, C. 1994. Feasibility of a NonRegulatory Approach to Bay Water Anchorage Management for Sustainable Recreational Use Florida Sea Grant Publication TP-74. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Bureau of Economic and Business Research. 1981. Florida Statistical Abstracts University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Falk, J., Graefe, A., Drogin, E ., Confer, J., Chandler, L. 1992. Recreational Boating on Delawares Inland Bays: Im plications for Social and En vironmental Carrying Capacity Delaware Sea Grant Publication DEL-SG-19-92. University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware. Fillion, F.L., 1976. Estimating Bias Du e to Nonresponse in Mail Surveys. Public Opinion Quarterly, v39, 482-492. Gorzelany, J.F, 1998. Evaluation of Boat Traffic Patterns an d Boater Compliance in Lee County, Florida Final report submitted to the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection. Gorzelany, J.F, 1999. Quantitative Analysis of Recreational Vessel Speeds Prior to Establishment of Speed-restricted Zones in Lee County, Florida Final report submitted to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Comm ission, Office of Environmental Services, Protected Species Management. Gorzelany, J.F, 2000. Evaluation of Vessel Traffic and Boater Compliance in Association with New Boat Speed Regulations in the Lower Caloosahatchee River Final report submitted to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Co mmission, Office of Environmental Services, Protected Species Management.

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73 Green, K. E. 1991. Reluctant Re spondents: Differences Between Early, Late, and Nonresponders to a Mail Survey. Journal of Experimental Education, v 59, 268. Leeworthy, V., and Wiley, P. 2001. National Survey on Marine Recreation and the Environment 2000: Current Participation Patterns in Marine Recreation A Report to the U.S. Department of Congress National Oceanographic Atmospheri c Administration. Silver Springs, Maryland. Letson, D. 2002. Economic Value and Environmenta l Quality: Floridas Coastal Resources, in Marine Recreational Fishing in Florida Coastal Environmental Resources: A Guide to Economic Valuation and Impact Analysis Letson D. & Milon, J.W., eds. Florida Sea Grant Report, SGR 124. University of Fl orida, Gainesville, Florida. Lynn, P., Clarke, P., Martin, J., and Sturgis, P., 2001. The effects of repeated call-backs and reallocation on non-re sponse bias in, Survey Non-Response eds. Robert M. Groves, R. Dillman, D., Eltinge, J., Roderick J and Little, A. New York. Wiley. National Marine Manufactu rers Association. 2005. 2004 U.S. Recreational Boat Registration Statistics Available on-line at http://www.nmma.org/facts/local/docum ents/2004RegistrationsSummary.pdf Sidman, C., Fik, T., and Sargent, B. 2004. A Recreational Boating Characterization for Tampa and Sarasota Bays. Florida Sea Grant Publication TP-130. Un iversity of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Sidman, C., Fik, T., Swett, R., Sargent, B., and Fann, S. 2005. Estimating Land and Water-Side Service Areas and Use Potential for Boat Ramps: A Case Study of Tampa and Sarasota Bays Florida Sea Grant Publication TP-142. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Sidman, C., and Flamm, R. 2001. A Survey of Methods for Characterizing Recreational Boating in Charlotte Harbor, Florida Florida Sea Grant Publication TP-109. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Sidman, C., Swett, R., Fik, T., Fann, S., Fann, D. and Sargent, B. 2005. A Recreational Boating Characterization for the Greater Charlotte Harbor. Florida Sea Grant Publication TP-150. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Swett, R., Fann, S., and DeLaney, J. 2005. An Assessment of Florida Boaters and their Awareness of the Clean Vessel Act and Clean Marina Program Florida Sea Grant Publication TP-151. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. West, N. 1982. Recreational Boating and Energy-Related Shipping on Narragansett Bay: A Study of Environmental Attitude and Behavior Report submitted to the Rhode Island CEIP, Governors Energy Office. Providence, Rhode Island.

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74 Appendices Appendix A. Questionnai re and Correspondence Cover Letter Recreational Boating In Sarasota County A survey conducted by the Univer sity of Florida Sea Grant Program Dear Boat Owner / Operator, We are asking you to participate in a boating st udy being carried out in southwest Florida by the University of Florida Sea Grant Program. The study seeks to characterize boating in the area. Your responses will be very important to our efforts to help Sara sota County prioritize and improve waterway access and maintenance, and to develop map-based boating products that enhance your recreational boating experience. There are no direct risks to you for participating in this study and we are enclosing a copy of A Sarasota County Boaters Guide to thank you for co mpleting and returning this questionnaire. The questionnaire should take ab out 20 minutes to complete. We would appreciate it if you could complete and return it as soon as possible. We have provided a self-addressed, postage-paid return envelope. Please be assured that the informat ion you provide will be held in th e strictest confidence. Answers will NOT be traced to individuals and your name or address will NOT be made available to anyone else Your participation is completely voluntary and you may withdraw your participation at any time without penalty. The questionnaire control number is used only to track survey returns so that we dont inconvenience you with reminder cards. Only a small sample of bo aters in Sarasota County have received this survey, so your input is very important. We recently completed a similar boating survey in the Tampa Bay area and it was a great success! For questions about your rights as a research participant, you may contact the University of Florida Institutional Review Board at PO Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611 or 352-3920433. If you have any questions about this survey or our products for boate rs, you may contact Charles Sidman at the University of Florida (352) 392-6233, or by email at boatsurvey@ifas.ufl.edu We are most grateful for your assistance in this important project.

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75 Questionnaire Map

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76 Questionnaire PART 1. PLEASE DRAW THE ROUTE OF YOUR LAST TWO BOATING TRIPS On the other side of this questionnaire is a m ap of Sarasota County coastal waterways. We would like you to provide informat ion regarding your last two boati ng trips in this area. This will include marking your launch or departure si tes, drawing your boating travel routes, and marking your favorite boating spots or destinations along those routes. Please refer to the instructions in the upper right portion of the map for completion of this part of the questionnaire. Thank you. PART 2. PLEASE DESCRIBE YO UR LAST TWO BOATING TRIPS Question 1. Were the last two travel routes that you drew on the map typical, or not -do you travel these routes when boating in Sarasota County waterways depicted on the map more often than not? ( Please check the appropriate box for each travel route that you drew) First Trip ( solid line) Typical Not typical Second Trip ( dashed line ) Typical Not typical Question 2. About what time did you get on the water for each of the two trips that you drew on the map? (For example, 7:30AM) First Trip ( solid line) Second Trip ( dashed line ) Question 3. About how long were you on the water on each of the two trips that you drew on the map? (Please write in the number of hours or days.) First Trip ( solid line) Hours Days Second Trip ( dashed line ) Hours Days Question 4. Please circle the day of the week that you took each of the two trips that you drew on the map. First Trip ( solid line) Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun Second Trip ( dashed line ) Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun

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77 Question 5. Please circle the month(s) in which you took ea ch of the two trips that you drew on the map. First Trip ( solid line) Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Second Trip ( dashed line ) Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Question 6 From the list below, please check the box bes ide the vessel type that best describes the boat that you used on each of the two tr ips that you drew on the map. Trip 1 Vessel Type Trip 2 Jet Ski / Personal Watercraft Kayak / Row / Canoe Sailboat (no cabin) Sailboat (with cabin) Speed: Runabout / Jet Boat (no cabin) Speed: Scarab / Cigarette (with cabin) Open Fisherman / Flats / Skiff / John boat Offshore Sportfisherman (with cabin) Power Cruiser (with cabin) Deck Boat Pontoon Boat Other (specify)__________________ Question 7. Please enter the make/model, length, and dr aft of the boat(s) that you identified above. ( Draft is how far below the water surface your prop or hull extends .) Question 8. Please indicate, in the boxes below, the numbe r of days per month that you operate your boat within the mapped Sarasota County coastal waterways. Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec First Trip ( solid line) Make / Model Length (feet) Draft (feet / inches) Second Trip ( dashed line ) Make / Model Length (feet) Draft (feet / inches) PART 3. PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL BOATING TRIPS

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78 Question 9. Which of the following are important to you in selecting your typical boating routes? ( For a-k in the table below, check the box that best describes your opinion. ) Statement Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree a) I try to avoid congested areas / crowds. b) I try to avoid shallow water. c) The fishing is good. d) I prefer well-marked channels. e) I prefer calm protected waters. f) I try to avoid speed zones. g) None are important. I just cruise around. h) Easy access to supplies or fuel i) Quick access to my favorite boating spots j) I enjoy the scenic beauty. k) Other ( specify ) Question 10. From the list ( ak ) above, circle the letter associated with the most important reason for selecting your favorite boating routes. Question 11. Please check the box to the left of your typical departure site. If you normally depart from a marina, the shoreline, or a ramp, please answer the following questions. If you normally depart from a residential or condominium dock, please skip to Question 18 Question 12. What marina do you depart from most often? ( If you launch from a ramp, including a marina ramp, please skip to Question 14.) Name / Location _________________________________________ Question 13. About how long does it take to drive from your home to the marina that you depart from most often? Hours ____________ Minutes ___________ Boat ramp Shoreline / causeway Marina wet slip Home dock Condominium dock Marina dry storage Other ( specify )

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79 Question 14. If you use the shoreline or boat ramps ( including marina ramps ), please identify your two most frequently used shoreline lo cations or ramps and the approximat e number of times per year do you use each. ( A list of some ramps is provided on the other side of this questionnaire.) Ramp or Shoreline Name/Location times per year First Choice Second Choice Question 15. About how long does it take to drive from your home to the shoreline locations or two ramps that you identified in Question 14? Ramp Name/Location Hours Minutes First Choice Second Choice Question 16. What is important to you in selecting a marina, shoreline, or ramp? ( For a-n in the table below, check the box that best describe s how important it is to you, or leave blank if not applicable. ) Question 17. From the list ( an ) above, please circle the letter associ ated with the most important reason for selecting a marina, shoreline, or ramp. Statement Very Important Important Neutral Unimportant Very Unimportant a) Deep-water access b) Availability of restrooms c) No parking or launching fee d) Well-marked access channels e) Proximity to my favorite boating spots f) Adequate parking g) Availability of fishing supplies, bait h) Short wait to launch. i) Gas, pump-out, or maintenance service j) Nearby amenities (e.g., restaurant) k) Proximity to my home l) Ease of launching and retrieving boat m) Safe and secure parking area n) Other factor ( specify )

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80 Question 18. What are your activities on your typical boating trips? ( Check all that apply. ) Beach Picnicking ( BP ) Nature Viewing ( NV ) Sightseeing ( SS) Cruising (CR ) Daytime Anchoring ( DA ) Socializing ( SO ) Diving ( DV ) Overnight Anchoring ( OA ) Visiting Restaurant ( VR ) Fishing ( FH ) Sailing ( SA ) Swimming ( SW ) Ski / Water Sports ( WS ) Other ( O ) ( specify ) Question 19. Based on your boating experiences over the past year, have you avoided or left your favorite spots or destinations because of too many other boaters? Yes No Question 20 In which areas, if any, have you experienced the greatest amount of boat congestion? Please mark congested areas on the map with the letter C. ( Congestion refers to the presence of more boats than you would prefer.) Question 21. How many months per year do you live in Florida? ___________( Months ) Question 22. How long have you been operating a vessel in Floridas coastal water? _________( Years ) Question 23. Have you ever taken a boat safety or seamanship course? Yes No Question 24. In what year were you born? ________ Question 25 Would you participate in a future internet and / or mail survey to provide further information on your boating experiences? Internet Yes No Mail Yes No Question 26 What detracts most from your boating experience? Question 27. What is needed most to improve your boating experience? PLEASE RETURN THE QUESTIONNAIRE AND MAP IN THE ENCLOSED POSTAGE-PAID ENVELOPE THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME AND PARTICIPATION! Questionnaire Control Number (used only to keep track of survey returns) PART 4. PLEASE DESCRIBE YOURSELF