Northeast Region

Coastal and Marine Recreation Study for New England

A study to characterize coastal and marine recreational activity in New England to support the Northeast regional ocean planning process was completed in the fall of 2015. Directed by the Northeast Regional Planning Body and led by Point 97, SeaPlan, and the Surfrider Foundation, this project collected information on a variety of recreational uses such as beach going, wildlife viewing, surfing, and non-motorized boating (e.g. kayaking).  The project did not collect data on fishing or motorized boating from individual users; those activities are being addressed through other studies.

Surfrider led an opt-in online survey to collect data from individual recreational users and other members of the public.  The survey was launched on November 13, 2014, and concluded April 30, 2015; it was open to anyone 18+ years of age who has visited the coast between the New York edges of Long Island Sound and the far northern reaches of Maine at least once in the last 12 months.

The Surfrider Foundation also led a portion of the Marine Events survey, to collect data on the following competitive board & paddle events: surf contests, SUP races, and triathlons that are primarily in the water (SUP/swim/other).  Data collection on that survey concluded May 25, 2015.

SeaPlan collaborated with industry leaders such as operators and event organizers to map some marine events, commercial whale watching, and SCUBA diving.  To learn more about this component of the Study, contact:

You can engage!  Receive email updates on the Surfrider Foundation’s participation in the public process for ocean planning, schedule or attend a workshop on Study results, learn more about the New England Ocean Action Network, or become a supporting Surfrider Foundation member!

The results of the full Study are published in a final report and spatial data layers have been integrated to the Northeast Ocean Data Portal. See how this data has been incorporated into the final draft ocean plan &/or connect with us with specific questions! Be sure to learn more about commenting on the final draft plan, too. Your voice is vital!

Get the facts:

For more information about this study or to schedule a presentation on findings, please contact Surfrider Foundation Northeast Regional Manager, Melissa Gates: or 207.706.6378.  For comprehensive information on this and other similar studies the Surfrider Foundation has led in other coastal U.S. regions, visit our Coastal Recreation Studies page.

Northeast Recreation Study Scope

Northeast Recreation Study Scope


Surfrider was excited to have recruited many key representatives from the northeast non-extractive ocean recreational community to assist with this Study through a Stakeholder Working Group (SWG).

The SWG assisted with quality assurance, participation strategies, information sharing, and vetting data products. 

The SWG was open for participation by any interested ocean recreation stakeholder on a rolling basis throughout the entire Study; we also specifically requested the participation of many key “gatekeepers,” such as our region’s surf shop owners, kayak tour guides, and avid beach goers.

We offer giant THANKS to all SWG members for their participation in this Study:

Acadia Park Kayak Tours, Brescian Lander, Guide & Owner, Bar Harbor, ME, Sea Kayak Tours

Alice’s Awesome Adventures, Alice Bean Andrenyak, Owner, Brunswick, ME, Sea Kayak Tours

Aquaholics Surf Shop, Nanci Boutet, Owner, Kennebunkport, ME, Retail Surf & SUP Shop

Aquaholics Surf Shop, Eric Belanger, Manager, Kennebunkport, ME, Retail Surf & SUP Shop

Aquaterra Adventures, David Legere, Guide & Owner, Bar Harbor, ME, Sea Kayak Tours

Billington Sea Kayak, Plymouth, MA, Sea Kayak Outfitter and Tours

Black Point Surf Shop, Ryan Mcdermott, Owner, Scarborough, ME, Retail Surf Shop and Outfitter

Black Point Surf Shop, Crystal Ouimette, Manager, Scarborough, ME, Retail Surf Shop and Outfitter

Boston Harbor Islands, Giles Parker, Superintendent, Boston, MA, National Park Management

Cadillac Mountain Sports, Joe Moran, Marketing Manager, Bar Harbor, ME, Outdoor Sports Retail Shop

Caitlin Tateishki, Brooklyn, NY, Avid Swimmer

Chino Surfboards Jon Wong, Owner, Boston, MA, Retail Surf Shop

Cinnamon Rainbows Surf Co., Dave Cropper, Owner, Rye, NH, Retail Surf & SUP Shop

Environmental Protection Agency, Marisa Marzotta, Environmental Economist

Epic Sports, Brad Ryder, Owner, Bangor, ME, Outdoor Retail Shop

Essex River Basin Adventures, Essex, MA, Sea Kayak Tours and Outfitter

Gail Kotowski, Guilford CT, Individual User

Hancock Point Kayak Tours, Antonio Blasi, Registered Guide & Owner, Hancock, ME, Sea Kayak Tours

Harbor Trading Co., Lauren Toye, Ipswich, MA, Premium Lifestyle Boutique

Jack Savage, Concord, NH, Sea Kayaker

Jenna George, Hampton, NH, Avid Beach User

Kayak Learning Center, Beverly, MA, Kayak Tours and Outfitter

Kayak Waveology, Greg Paquin, CT, Kayak Lessons

Lincoln Canoe & Kayak, Amesbury, MA, Kayak and Canoe Outfitter

Liquid Dreams Surf Shop, Mark Anastas, Owner, Ogunquit, ME, Retail Surf & SUP Shop

Maine Surfers Union, Charlie Fox, Owner, Portland, ME, Retail Surf & SUP Shop

 Massachusetts Port Authority, Capt. Wellock, Boston, MA

Masskiting, Chris Lamborghini, Boston, MA, Kitesurfing Group

Mocean Surf Shop, Barry Tripp, Owner, Old Orchard Beach, ME, Retail Surf & SUP Shop

Narragansett Surf & Skate, Dave Levy, Narragansett, RI, Surf Shop

Narrow River Kayaks, Narragansett, RI, Outfitter & Sea Kayak Tours

Natalie Springuel, Bar Harbor, ME, Sea Kayak Guide

New England Surf Community, Silas Coellner, Mashpee, MA

Nick Battista, Rockland, ME, Surfer and Sea Kayaker

Pioneers Board Shop, Steve O’Hara, Owner, North Hampton, NH, Retail Surf & SUP Shop

Portland Special Surfers, Chris Fritz, Owner, Portland, ME, NGO helping those with special needs find their love for the ocean.

Quebec Surf, Alex Tremblay, Quebec, Canada, Surf Adventure Group

Sacred Surf Shop, Wellfleet, MA, Surfing School

Salem Sound Coastwatch, Jack Nessen, Salem, MA

Sean McQuilken, Groton, CT, Sea Kayaker, Sailor

SOPO SUP, Rafael Adams, Owner, South Portland, Maine, Paddleboard Outfitter

Silvia Cassano, Burlington, VT, Beach Visitor

Surfrider Foundation Connecticut Chapter, Gail Kotowski, SUP’er

Surfrider Foundation Connecticut Chapter, Kathy Donovan, Avid Beach User

Surfrider Foundation Connecticut Chapter, Zach Zeilman, Surfer

Surfrider Foundation Maine Chapter, Crawford Zetterberg, Surfer

Surfrider Foundation Maine Chapter, John Manly, Surfer

 Surfrider Foundation Massachusetts Chapter, Chris May, Surfer

 Surfrider Foundation Massachusetts Chapter, Dan LeMaitre, Photographer

Surfrider Foundation Massachusetts Chapter, Noel LaPierre, Swimmer & Surfer

Surfrider Foundation Massachusetts Chapter, Stewart Dalzell, Surfer

Surfrider Foundation New Hampshire Chapter, Rebecca O’Brien, Surfer

Surfrider Foundation New Hampshire Chapter, Sarah Minella, Surfer

 Surfrider Foundation New Hampshire Chapter, Dale Pariseau, Surfer

Surfrider Foundation New Hampshire Chapter, Jamie McCallum, Surfer

Surfrider Foundation Rhode Island Chapter, Colin Hynes, Surfer

Surfrider Foundation Rhode Island Chapter, Phil Chiaradio, Surfer

Summer Sessions Surf Shop, Ryan McGill, Co-owner,  Rye, NH, Retail Surf Shop

Summer Sessions Surf Shop, Tyler McGill, Co-owner, Rye, NH, Retail Surf Shop

Spirare Surfboards, Kevin Cunningham, Owner, Providence, RI, Surfboard Manufacturer

Surfari SUP & Surf, Christian del Rosario, Co-owner, Manchester, MA, Surf and SUP Retail Shop

Surfari SUP & Surf, Nicole del Rosario, Co-owner, Manchester, MA, Retail Surf & SUP Shop

Tidal Roots, Kyle Schaefer, Co-owner, Eliot, ME, SUP Manufacturer

Touring Kayaks, Ray Wirth, Belfast, ME, Sea Kayak Retail & Tours

Water Brothers Surf, Sid Abruzzi, Co-owner, Newport, RI, Retail Surf, SUP & Skate Shop

Water Brothers Surf, Danielle Abruzzi, Co-owner, Newport, RI, Retail Surf, SUP & Skate Shop

Wheels N Waves, Vic Brazen, Co-owner, Wells, ME, Retail Surf/SUP/Bike/Skate Shop and Outfitter

Wind’s UP!, Max, Vineyard Haven, MA, Natural Watersports Outfitter and Rentals

The total number of SWG members is currently:  67

If YOU would like to join, give us a shout:

To reach the Stakeholder Working Group, please email: SWG.


Special thanks to the Northeast Regional Planning Body members and their agency affiliates, who directed our project through a Project Steering Committee:

    • Maine:  Matt Nixon, Maine Coastal Program
    • New Hampshire: Chris Williams, Federal Consistency Coordinator for NH Coastal Program
    • Massachusetts:  Prassede Vella, Ocean Policy Analyst, office of MA Coastal Zone Management
    • Rhode Island RPB member: Grover Fugate, executive director of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council
    • Connecticut: Dave Kozak, CT Department of Environmental Protection Office of LIS Programs
    • United States Coast Guard: Michele DesAutels
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RPB Federal Co-Lead: Betsy Nicholson
    • Ex Officio affiliates from the Mid Atlantic region, from the state of New York: Jeff Herter, Liz Podowski
    • Northeast Regional Ocean Council: Katie Lund, John Weber, Nick Napoli

To reach the Project Steering Committee, please email:  PSC.


*Who/what is the Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB):

*Federal, state & Tribal members of the NERPB:

*View the Framework:

*What is ocean planning, why should I care & how do I get involved:

*The importance of ocean planning & Surfrider Foundation’s interests:

*Community collaboration in ocean planning & how it works:

*Check out the Northeast Data Portal:

*See the goals for Northeast Regional Ocean Planning:

*Read the Northeast Regional Planning Body Charter:

*Read the Executive Order establishing a National Ocean Policy:

*For a comprehensive list of Regional Ocean Planning public meetings throughout the Northeast this fall, see: