Recreational boating has long been a mainstay in New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic region, but until now there hasn't been enough definitive research about it.

Flickr User Paul Sullivan

Monmouth University's Urban Coast Institute is partnering with the UMass Center for Research and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean to conduct a survey of boaters that will help determine two very important factors.

"And try to get information about their economic activity, so how much they spend and how much they spend and contribute to the local economy as well as where they actually operate," says Urban Coast Institute Director Tony MacDonald.

MacDonald says they will send a letter to boaters on various mailing lists from Virginia to New York, asking them for their voluntary participation in the email based survey which will be going on from June until November.

The survey is based of a similar study conducted in New England, MacDonald says the findings will help benefit and bolster the oceanic boating community.

"There's a lot going on in the ocean right now with proposals for offshore wind and other activities and we'd like to get a better understanding of what are the important areas for recreational boaters in the ocean."

Ultimately the data will help "get a better story so people can understand how important recreational boating is and how wide spread it is in the Mid-Atlantic region."