However, little is known on the
impacts of a general recreational visit to a natural environment in the absence of any educational input or interpretation. As reviewed above, previous research suggests ZVADFMK that exposure to aquatic environments is beneficial for wellbeing and marine awareness; and at the same time that certain activities have specific detrimental effects on the marine habitat. However, to the authors’ knowledge no previous work has examined these effects on the habitat and on people together. As a first step, this paper uses two studies to investigate perceptions of risks and benefits for both the visitor and the environment, in an integrated fashion. Such a broad selleck products approach would allow us to identify those activities
that are most beneficial to humans but of low negative impact to the environment (and encourage people to engage in them). Conversely, it would also tell us which activities have little benefit to human wellbeing yet considerable costs to the environment, which would then be able to guide management strategies that can protect the environment and maximise visitors’ wellbeing. As perceptions may depend on the particular background of the person asked, a concise survey approach with marine experts and general coastal users as participants was used. Participants were asked to estimate the impact of a range of human activities on the environment in terms of commonness and harmfulness
(combined to calculate a perceived risk score, following traditional approaches to risk assessment). They were also asked to estimate the impact the activities had on the humans engaging in them, in terms of mood and excitement (based on the Circumplex Model, Russell, 1980). Finally, regardless of specific activities, they were asked to estimate the impact of a visit on marine awareness. The pros and cons of such a broad, perception-based approach will be discussed in more detail later but it is important to note that this approach allowed us to compare and until integrate the impact of a substantial number of activities. Study 1 used two separate British samples: coastal experts, which we defined as professionals who are linked to the management of coastlines and/or engaged with the public in these coastal environments, and coastal users who visit but have no specialist knowledge of this environment. This study focussed on British rocky shores, whereas Study 2’s sample consisted of international academics with expertise specifically relating to rocky shores to allow us to gain an understanding of the generalisability of the issues beyond the British context.