How Are You Connected to the Ocean?

Jul 10, 2017

What does the ocean mean to you? How do you interact with the sea? Maybe you enjoy fishing, or enjoy eating what others have caught. Maybe you own a home on the water, or relish long days at a favorite beach. Maybe you’re worried about climate change and sea level rise; maybe you’re not.

We are all connected to the ocean, through weather, climate, and the very air we breathe (marine life produces half the oxygen in the atmosphere). But everyone experiences that connection differently.

Researchers are increasingly realizing that how people relate to the ocean can affect the success of marine conservation and resource management efforts.

Now, a new survey aims to understand how residents and visitors to Falmouth, MA – a town deeply rooted in fishing, ocean research, and coastal tourism – view their connection to the ocean.

“Once we get an idea of how those connections work,” explained Simon Ryder-Burbidge, a Dalhousie University student visiting Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, “then we can make decisions about how we should share these spaces in a way that allows everyone to experience their connection in the way they like, and try to manage ocean environments in a way that works, to some degree for the most amount of people possible.”

If you are a resident or homeowner in Falmouth, take the survey here:

“Understanding Public Perception: Ocean Connectivity in Falmouth, Massachusetts.”

Wherever you’re from, tell us your best ocean story. Throughout the summer, Living Lab Radio will be featuring your tales of ocean connections. Email a brief version of your story and your contact information to Living Lab Radio, or leave us a voicemail at (508) 289-1285.