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Public perceptions of environmental quality: a survey study of beach use and perceptions in Los Angeles County

Pendleton, L.; Martin, N.; Webster, D.G.

Marine Pollution Bulletin 42(11): 1155-1160

2001


ISSN/ISBN: 0025-326X
PMID: 11763229
DOI: 10.1016/s0025-326x(01)00131-x
Accession: 068756148

Despite documented successes in the battle to clean up the coastal waters of Southern California, Los Angeles County residents continue to view the ocean more as a place of pollution than a vibrant and healthy place for bathing and swimming. This study shows that residents of Los Angeles County tend to hold perceptions of marine water quality that are at odds with data on bacteriological measures of water quality collected by local sanitation districts (and reported by not-for-profit Heal the Bay). Summary results of a survey of 400 randomly chosen households in Los Angeles County are given. Respondents were asked about their beach use and perceptions of environmental quality: both coastal water quality and air quality. The results suggest that perceptions of coastal water quality may be influenced less by "current coastal education campaigns" and more by the media and other factors.

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