3. Types of Recreation in Hydrokinetic Settings

This chapter provides a general list of recreation activities that occur in areas with potential hydrokinetic development.  The goal is to provide a “checklist” for potential developers, agencies, or stakeholders to review as a project is proposed, as well as briefly describe the activity and its key biophysical, social, and managerial setting attributes.  The list should not be considered exhaustive, but we have tried to identify the most common recreation activities and important attributes.  Chapter 4 discusses the importance of setting attributes for specifying recreation opportunities, which is the foundation for assessing impacts as discussed in Chapter 5.

Hydrokinetic projects may be located in river and marine settings, including estuaries, coastal marine and near-shore zones, and open-ocean, deep-sea regions, where a diversity of recreation opportunities occur.  While it is challenging to develop a comprehensive list of recreation for each setting, it is possible to identify the most common recreation opportunities and the key characteristics or setting attributes that may become issues during hydrokinetic – recreation analyses.  

The following recreation opportunity list is organized by type of setting (river and marine) and then by type of opportunity, with some opportunities grouped to avoid repetition.  For each, we provide basic information about how the opportunity “works” and describe attributes that define high quality.  Opportunity descriptions are necessarily general, and may need to be more carefully described for particular projects.  For example, descriptions generally do not distinguish between opportunities related to experience settings (e.g., whether an area is more primitive or more developed, or has higher vs. lower use levels), size or type of boat craft (e.g., jetboats vs. other motorized craft on a river, larger vs. smaller sailboats), or technique or target species fishing (e.g., top-casting vs. bottom-fishing in a surf fishery, trout vs. salmon in a river fishery).

The great variety of outdoor recreation pursuits in the United States, including in river and marine environments, plays an important role in the lives of most Americans in terms of quality of life, the importance of public resources, and the state of our overall economy and health.  For example, a 2006 Active Outdoor Recreation Economy Report found that outdoor recreation contributes $730 billion to the US Economy, and supports nearly 6.5 million jobs.