Factors Influencing Environmentally Responsible Behavior among Coastal Recreationists

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An increasing threat to the marine environment is the presence of debris in the ocean, which is predominantly a result of land-based sources and increasing use of single-use packaging items. To begin reducing the amount of debris entering the ocean, human behavior must be addressed. The purpose of this study is to evaluate how coastal recreationists behave towards the environment and whether their participation in recreation correlates to their reported behavior specific to marine debris control. Path analysis was used to determine how one’s attitudes, knowledge, recreational activity, and background characteristics influence behavior. Results showed that type of recreational activity had very little impact on behavior and other predictors. From the model, marine environmental concern, connection to the marine environment, and gender most directly influenced reported behavior. Therefore, to encourage change in recreationists’ relevant behavior, the results indicate social groups where behavior change efforts could initially be made. Additionally, the marine environmental concerns of different demographic groups should be considered and used in developing programs directed at increasing environmentally responsible behavior with emphasis on marine debris.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Coastal Management