FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 5, 2012
SURVEY SHOWS OUTDOOR RECREATION IS IMPORTANT TO FLORIDA'S RESIDENTS AND VISITORS
~Saltwater beach activities rank high among preferred outdoor actvities~
Visitors enjoy the beach at Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park in the panhandle.
- The Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida Park Service today
announced the results of the 2011 Florida Outdoor Recreation Participation
. The study, which measured the satisfaction of Florida’s
residents and visitors with current recreation opportunities in Florida and determined
levels of participation for outdoor recreation activities, found that outdoor
recreation is important to 98 percent of tourists and 96 percent of residents.
“This study is a great tool for Florida’s outdoor recreation providers, and
will help us ensure that we are in tune with the recreational needs of the
state’s citizens and visitors,” said DEP’s Florida Park Service Director Donald
V. Forgione. “Outdoor recreation is not only a major contributor to Florida’s economy, but
also educates and cultivates the next generation of environmental stewards.”
Responsive Management, a survey research firm specializing
in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues, surveyed nearly 4,000 Florida residents and
nearly 3,000 tourists between April and October 2011 by telephone. Of the
tourists surveyed, 97 percent said they were satisfied with the outdoor
recreation opportunities in Florida,
including 77 percent who are very satisfied.
The majority of Florida
residents (80 percent) are satisfied with the outdoor recreation opportunities
in their county.
Nearly all participants (99 percent of residents and 96
percent of tourists) noted that spending time with family and friends is an important factor for participating in
outdoor recreation .
Saltwater beach activities were the most popular among all
participants—63 percent of residents and 49 percent of visitors enjoyed this
activity in the past 12 months. The
next most popular activity among Florida
residents was wildlife viewing, which 49 percent enjoyed in the last year.
Forty-six percent went fishing, 44 percent enjoyed bicycling and 40 percent
enjoyed a picnic outdoors in the last year. Forty-seven percent of tourists
enjoyed wildlife viewing last year, followed by 37 percent who enjoyed
picnicking, 29 percent of visitors who went swimming in public outdoor pools
and 26 percent of tourists who visited historical or archaeological sites.
The Florida Park Service is not only one of Florida’s leading
outdoor recreation providers with 160 state parks, the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway
and eight state trails, but is also responsible for developing and executing a
comprehensive outdoor recreation plan, in cooperation with other public
recreation land managers, including and state and local recreation
This survey will be used to evaluate the supply, demand and
need for outdoor recreation for the 2013 update of the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP
By contributing to the quality of life for residents and the
state’s desirability as a tourist destination, outdoor recreation in Florida stimulates the
economy and creates jobs. Florida’s
outdoor recreation program provides a diverse system of resources, facilities
and programs. The 2011 Outdoor Recreation Participation Survey confirms that outdoor
recreation opportunities are very important to Florida’s residents and tourists. View the complete survey.