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St. Johns River Survey Results

The Jacksonville University (JU) Social Science Research Center recently released the results of a November 2016 survey of Jacksonville area residents about the St. Johns River.  The results are compared to finding from a similar poll that was conducted in 2012.

The following information was provided by JU.

FAST FACTS:

  • Of those familiar with the proposed project to dredge a portion of the St. Johns River, 51% say they are opposed to it.
  • Rates of using the river for recreation/enjoyment by Jacksonville area residents remained similar from 2012-2016. Only about 25% of area residents fish on or along the St. Johns River, 30% boat, 10% swim and 50% walk along the river at least once a year.
  • The number of residents that consider the river degraded and in need of a major cleanup increased from 52% to 59%.
  • The number of residents who think there is a direct connection between their actions and the health of the river increased from 55% to 69%, but fewer residents say they are knowledgeable about what they can do to help protect the river, a drop from 48% to 37%.

COMPLETE POLL RESULTS

1. How familiar are you with the current debate about dredging the St. Johns River? Would you say that you are very familiar, somewhat familiar, or not really familiar with that debate at all?
2016                                                                                      
Very familiar                               28%                  
Somewhat familiar                      45
Not really familiar at all               27


2. In general, would you say that you support or oppose the current plan to dredge a portion of the St Johns River?
2016
Support                                         34%
Oppose                                          51
Don’t know/Not sure/Undecided    15

3. Thinking about the past year, please tell me how often you have enjoyed the following activities on or along the St. Johns River. How about fishing? Would you say that over the past year you have fished on or along the St. Johns River at least . . .
                                     2016                 2012
Once a week,                  5%                    4%
Once a month,               15                     13
Once a year, or              26                     29
Not at all?                      74                     71

4. How about boating, canoeing, kayaking, or jet skiing? Would you say that over the past year you have boated, canoed, kayak, or jet skied on or along the St. Johns River at least . . .
                                     2016                2012
Once a week,                  5%                   6%
Once a month,               15                    17
Once a year, or              29                    37
Not at all?                      71                    63

5. How about swimming? Would you say that over the past year you have swam on or along the St. Johns River at least . . .
                                     2016                2012
Once a week,                  1%                   2%
Once a month,                4                      7
Once a year, or               8                     11
Not at all?                      92                    89

6. How about hunting or observing wildlife, walking? Would you say that over the past year you have hunted or observe wildlife or walked on or along the St. Johns River at least . . .
                                     2016                2012
Once a week,                 13%                  15%
Once a month,                36                     33
Once a year, or               47                     43
Not at all?                       53                     57


7. Which of the following statements do you think best describes the health of the St. Johns River? Is it:
                                                                                                 2016   2012
A polluted river not worth saving                                                 4%    3%
A degraded river which has value, but needs a major cleanup    59     52
River in good condition in need of improvements in some areas 31     41
DK/NA                                                                                            6       4

8. What do you see as the biggest source of pollution in the St. Johns River? Is it . . .

                                                              2016            2012
Industrial and commercial activity,       34%              29%
Storm water runoff, or                           8                   26
littering and dumping?                         47                  36
DK/NA                                                  11                   9

9. Do you feel you knowledgeable about what you can do to help improve the health of the St. Johns River?
                                                           2016               2012
Yes                                                       37%               48%
No                                                        63                   52

10. Do you think there is a direct connection between your personal actions and the health of the St. Johns River?
                                                           2016               2012
Yes                                                       69%                55%
No                                                        31                   45

11. On a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 means "you don't try at all" and 10 means "you try very hard", how would you rate your personal efforts to protect the St. Johns River.
                                                          2016                 2012
1-5                                                       50%                 43%
6-8                                                       43                    41
9-10                                                      7                     16

About the Surveys:

The 2016 survey results are based on telephone interviews conducted in November 2016 among a sample of 448 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in the Jacksonville Metropolitan area. The survey was conducted by interviewers at Jacksonville University under the direction of the Jacksonville University Social Science Research Center. A combination of landline and cell phone random digit dial samples were used.

The 2012 results are based on telephone interviews conducted in November 2012 among a sample of 379 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in counties along the St. Johns River. The percentages reported here represent the 171 interviews obtained from residents of the Jacksonville Metropolitan area. The survey was conducted by interviewers at Jacksonville University under the direction of the Jacksonville University Social Science Research Center. A combination of landline and cell phone random digit dial samples were used.

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