This month, 68,000 Northeast boat owners will receive invitations to participate in a survey of saltwater recreational boating routes and boaters' contribution to state economies.
Survey results will help coastal planners consider boating activity as part of ocean planning and reivews of proposals for new coastal development projects.
From June to October, researchers will ask boaters to log onto a mapping website to draw their last boating trip and include information about fishing, wildlife viewing or other activities, as well as how much money they spent.
Prizes for participants include a grand prize drawing of $5,000. Boaters who do not receive an invitation in the mail can participate in a separate volunteer survey at: http://www.neboatersurvey.org.
SeaPlan, a nonprofit organization, is partnering with the Northeast Regional Ocean Council, the boating industry, the University of Massachusetts and state coastal management programs to conduct the survey.