Aquatic Stewardship Education in Theory and Practice

Fostering Boating-Related Aquatic Stewardship: Reaching the Boater

Ryck Lydecker


Abstract.—Changing the stewardship behavior of boaters can be accomplished through various traditional and nontraditional communication methods when initiated by boaters and their representative organizations. At national, state, and local levels, the recreational boating community, boating media, engaged government agencies and academic/extension programs, and business entities that serve recreational boaters have developed various ways to accomplish such aims. Methods implemented include providing grants to boating groups to conduct environmental projects, using the boating- oriented media to disseminate messages that promote environmentally sensitive behavior, working directly with marinas and other service providers to improve operation of boats and servicing facilities, and boater-supported government affairs programs that advocate sound environmental policies and adequate funding to meet these objectives. Additionally, due to the high percentage of boats used in fishing activities, communication campaigns that promote ethically sound behavior have successfully reached recreational boaters as well as sport anglers. Specific programs within each of these arenas, conducted by Boat Owners Association of The United States and other organizations, will be discussed in the context of target audience, message content, delivery method, potential measures of success, and future directions.