Presentation Abstract

Place-based research targeting rural shoreline property owners provided valuable insights into water quality issue awareness, viewpoints, and willingness to adopt best management practices (BMPs). This information can improve the efficacy of outreach programs designed to motivate shoreline homeowners to protect adjacent waterways. Between 2009 and 2016, 7 different sets of audience research were conducted to determine how to increase the voluntary adoption of water quality BMPs on private land. The studies focused on shoreline landowners and were conducted in rural areas in the South Puget Sound and Hood Canal regions of Washington State. Barriers and motivators for a variety of water quality related BMPs were identified and outreach methods and messages were developed and tested. BMPs were related to on-site septic maintenance, pet waste, shoreline vegetation plantings, and livestock management. Septic and planting BMPs are the focus of this presentation which demonstrate the importance of audience assessment and evaluation. Differences and similarities in audience responses of the different sub-regions were determined and evaluated. The similarities that did exist across all areas were that shoreline property owners are most motivated by messages that connect BMPs to specific, local waterbodies; demonstrate an effect on personal interests; and are accompanied by factual information and data. The research also indicated that successful outreach programs identify credible messengers and focus on a BMP of highest interest to the audience. Post outreach evaluation showed that the high interest BMP focus allowed outreach staff to then introduce other BMPs to shoreline homeowners with greater success.

Session Title

Communication Tools to Accelerate Success

Keywords

Shoreline audiences, Outreach, Social marketing

Conference Track

SSE6: Communication

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE6-459

Start Date

6-4-2018 1:45 PM

End Date

6-4-2018 2:00 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 6th, 1:45 PM Apr 6th, 2:00 PM

Understanding shoreline landowner views on water quality best management practices and outreach

Place-based research targeting rural shoreline property owners provided valuable insights into water quality issue awareness, viewpoints, and willingness to adopt best management practices (BMPs). This information can improve the efficacy of outreach programs designed to motivate shoreline homeowners to protect adjacent waterways. Between 2009 and 2016, 7 different sets of audience research were conducted to determine how to increase the voluntary adoption of water quality BMPs on private land. The studies focused on shoreline landowners and were conducted in rural areas in the South Puget Sound and Hood Canal regions of Washington State. Barriers and motivators for a variety of water quality related BMPs were identified and outreach methods and messages were developed and tested. BMPs were related to on-site septic maintenance, pet waste, shoreline vegetation plantings, and livestock management. Septic and planting BMPs are the focus of this presentation which demonstrate the importance of audience assessment and evaluation. Differences and similarities in audience responses of the different sub-regions were determined and evaluated. The similarities that did exist across all areas were that shoreline property owners are most motivated by messages that connect BMPs to specific, local waterbodies; demonstrate an effect on personal interests; and are accompanied by factual information and data. The research also indicated that successful outreach programs identify credible messengers and focus on a BMP of highest interest to the audience. Post outreach evaluation showed that the high interest BMP focus allowed outreach staff to then introduce other BMPs to shoreline homeowners with greater success.