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resilient public health and sanitation systems.

Oregon boaters want more restrooms

More than half of Oregon boaters say restroom availability is inadequate at  the state’s ramps and docks.    In fact, the lack of restrooms rank third among boaters’ complaints, after boat wake disruptions and no-wake zone violations. 
marine-board-logoIn a survey conducted every three years by the Oregon State Marine Board  54.8% of respondents noted the lack of restrooms.  This represents a considerable jump over results of previous surveys.    
      
According to Boating in Oregon: Triennial Survey Results released this week,  “The explanation may be linked to the increasingly selective habits of boaters to converge on prime waterways and fisheries at the same moment. The advent of the Internet allows people to time their boating activity with prime water conditions and fishing success.” …On the busy days, parking and restrooms are over-whelmed, but the area is underused for the remainder of the season.   
    
At the same time, survey respondents recognized recent improvements.    According of the survey report, “For restrooms, Coos River South Fork, Loon Lake and Suttle Lake received perfect scores! “
     
In collaboration with Oregon State University, the Marine Board sends out questionnaires by mail and enjoys a 70% response rate.  The survey provides policy guidance to local and state authorities on issues of concern to commercial and recreation boaters.    A item regarding restrooms first appeared in the 2002 questionnaire and has allowed the board to track growing public demand for restrooms in public areas where boaters gather.   
    
There’s a lesson here.  If a questionnaire gives people the chance to comment on restrooms, they will demand more and better ones.  If the question is left out, however, fewer people will bring it up on their own.   We are still don’t talk toilets….and this is a big part of the problem.


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