Students in high school science classes in grades 9-12 in four schools in New Jersey were surveyed using a 2-page written questionnaire to assess knowledge and attitudes about natural habitats and dune restoration on a human-modified coast. Eight hundred and ten questionnaires were completed. Students mentioned natural attributes most frequently when asked about the importance of a beach, but the many recreational attributes of a beach (recreation, have fun, relax/escape) were cumulatively more frequently mentioned. Dunes were considered important to students primarily as protection structures. Students preferred dunes to no dunes and wide beaches to narrow beaches but had no clear preference about raking to remove beach debris. 72.0% of all students said that lost natural dunes and vegetation should be restored, with 17.6% saying no and 10.4% no response. Students in higher grades and in specialized coastal-oriented classes indicated more support for restoration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law