Who visits Maine's beaches, and why?
Charles Colgan, Professor Emeritus of Public Policy and Planning, University of Southern Maine, and Paige Farmer, Executive Director, Maine Beaches Association
A survey of more than 3,000 visitors to beaches in the Saco Bay, Wells-Ogunquit, and New Hampshire regions identified visitor characteristics, and key features of beaches that attracted visitors. The largest survey of Maine beach users conducted to date, the project provides key information for understanding the beach as a tourist resource and also characteristics of the beach-using populations, who will affect policies to respond to changes in water quality and the beaches themselves. In 2015, the study of beach populations will continue in different locations. An overview of the 2014 data and a preliminary analysis of 2015 data can help us understand the beach population to support both tourism and sustainability.