We researched the Maine Healthy Beaches (MHB) initiative to better understand the importance of this coastal management program. The decentralized, voluntary Maine Healthy Beaches program stands out nationally from other state beach programs. Unlike in many other states, local municipal officials and residents play an important role in the monitoring and management of Maine beaches.
We conducted a survey of recent MHB program participants to: (1) learn why individuals, communities, and parks participate in the MHB program; (2) better understand how the MHB program works; and (3) obtain feedback from MHB participants about the program. We hope the results will help guide future program decisions and be of interest and assistance to program participants. In addition to helping the MHB program staff and participants, the results of this survey will allow our research team to continue studying the interactions among beach management, beach recreation and tourism, water quality, and public health.