Under the BEACH ACT, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates that states routinely monitor and promptly notify the public and local governments when beach water quality exceeds acceptable values (National Science Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP), 2016). This study focuses on the perception of risk among Georgia (U.S. state) beach visitors related to polluted water. Funded by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, this research examines what conditions define coastal waters as being polluted for these visitors. Even though recreational beaches are potent tourism-driven economic engines, there is a paucity of data within the United States on beachgoers’ risk perception and definition of a polluted beach. This study seeks to address the gap between routine beach water quality notifications and public awareness in coastal Georgia, USA.
“Water Quality and the Perception of Risk: A Study of Georgia, USA, Beachgoers,” was recently published in Ocean & Coastal Management.
Dr. Jeff Jones, Georgia Southern University Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH) was the lead author. Dr. Asli Aslan (JPHCOPH) and JPHCOPH students Ms. Rakhi Trivedi, Ms. Maria Olivas, and Ms. Mikayla Hoffman were co-authors.