Visitor and community survey results for Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge: Completion report

Open-File Report 2007-1239

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This study was commissioned by the Northeast Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in support of the Comprehensive Conservation Planning at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge (Prime Hook NWR or Refuge). The National Wildlife Refuge Improvement Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-57, USC668dd) mandates a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for every refuge in the system. A refuge CCP outlines goals, objectives, and management strategies for all refuge programs over the next 15 years, while providing opportunities for compatible, wildlifedependent public uses. The plan evaluates refuge wildlife, habitat, land protection, and visitor service priorities during the planning process.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; Public Law 91-190:852-859.42, U.S.C. and as Amended (P.L. 94-52 and P.L. 94-83) 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347) mandates that the CCP for each refuge must contain an analysis of social and economic conditions (the affected environment) and evaluate social and economic results from likely management scenarios. In addition, public review and comment on alternatives for future management is required. To that end, this research was conducted by the Policy Analysis and Science Assistance Branch (PASA) of the U.S. Geological Survey/Fort Collins Science Center in order to determine how current and proposed CCP planning strategies for Prime Hook NWR could affect:

  • Visitor use
  • Visitor experiences
  • Visitor spending
  • Community residents’ perceptions and opinions

Data for this study were collected using a survey administered to visitors to Prime Hook NWR and individuals living in the communities surrounding the Refuge. Surveys were randomly distributed to both consumptive and nonconsumptive use visitors over a one year period (September 2004 to September 2005) to account for seasonal variation in Refuge use. Three hundred thirty-two visitor surveys were returned for a response rate of 80 percent with a confidence interval of ± 5.4. Surveys were also distributed to a stratified random sample of community members in adjacent and surrounding areas (Slaughter Beach, Broadkill Beach, Prime Hook Beach, Milton, Lewes, Milford, and surrounding communities). Four hundred ninety-one surveys from the overall community sample were returned for a response rate of 39 percent with a ± 4.4 confidence interval. Community member results were weighted by U.S. Census Bureau data to correct for age and gender bias, and for community proportionality.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Visitor and community survey results for Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge: Completion report
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Fort Collins Science Center
Report: xii, 63 p.; Appendices A-F
United States
Other Geospatial:
Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge
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