We designed and implemented this survey following scientific survey-design principles and IRB (Institutional Review Board) approved procedures to maintain the confidentiality of responses. The survey instrument included open-ended and categorical question formats. The survey collected information on participants’ motivations for and experiences participating in the MHB program, participants’ opinions about the success of the program at protecting public health and improving coastal water quality, participants’ opinions and suggestions for guiding the MHB program in the future, and participants’ demographic and household characteristics.
We administered the 2015 Maine Healthy Beaches (MHB) Program Survey in the fall of 2015. We emailed 150 potential respondents, a sample of current and past MHB participants, and asked them to complete our web-based survey. Seventy-one potential respondents interacted with the web-survey and 63 respondents completed the survey, for a response rate of 42%. These 63 MHB program participants included 46 job-based and 17 volunteer participants and represented participants from one national park, one reserve, three state parks, and 18 MHB communities.
We downloaded the web-based survey responses from Qualtrics and did initial data checking and analysis using SAS 9.4 software. In response to feedback from our respondents, we generated an initial response report and codebook. In the near future, we will also be sharing a paper with key technical findings and the survey dataset.