RTI International and MSU receive $1.5M grant from U.S. Coast Guard to conduct the National Recreational Boating Survey

RTI International and the MSU Center for Economic and Spatial Analysis for Planning and Management in the Land Policy Institute recently received funding from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to conduct the National Recreational Boating Survey.

August 31, 2017 - Author: Heidi Macwan

No wake zone on Lake St. Clair, MI, showing several recreational boats forming a chain with boaters relaxing on board and a U.S. Coast Guard vessel ensuring boaters and swimmers safety.
No wake zone on Lake St. Clair, MI. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard.

RTI International and the Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Economic and Spatial Analysis for Planning and Management in the Land Policy Institute recently received funding from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to conduct the National Recreational Boating Survey under the Boating Safety Data Collection and Analysis Program. RTI International was awarded a $1.5M grant for this project, of which MSU received $135K.

The MSU team, led by LPI assistant professor Yue Cui, is partnering with RTI International on this project.

The purpose of this three-year grant is to produce valid and reliable national estimates of recreational boating participation and of recreational boating exposure measures by type and size of boat for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

"RTI is pleased to team with MSU on this major grant to study recreational boating safety. Obtaining an accurate measure of boating participation and exposure to risk is critical to the Coast Guard's ability to meet its goal of reducing boating accidents and fatalities. MSU's expertise in recreational boating behavior combined with RTI's survey research expertise and resources will help the Coast Guard develop an ongoing safety assessment program that will provide reliable data and a public portal for accessing the data," said Thomas Duffy from RTI International.

The RTI and MSU team will work together to develop survey instruments, collect data, conduct analysis and generate reports on the findings. In addition to Cui, the MSU team includes Teresa Herbowicz, LPI research analyst, along with graduate students.

The boating survey provides estimates of exposure to boating risk and participation in boating activities that are essential. The goals of the USCG’s Boating Safety Division include reducing boating accidents and casualties, developing a culture of safety awareness among recreational boat owners and participants, and enhancing enjoyment of the boating experience.

“Understanding the characteristics and behavior of those who own any type of recreational water craft, or participate in using them, and how those characteristics and behaviors differ by type of craft and location, is of critical importance to meeting these goals,” said Yue Cui.

For more information about this project, please contact Yue Cui at cuiyue@msu.edu.  

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