Public Perception Of A High-Quality River: Mixed Messages

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kristan Cockerill Ph.D., Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Existing studies have demonstrated a lack of consensus on the relationships between what the public sees when viewing a river, the actual ecological quality of that river, and a perceived need for management measures for that river. More specifically, there is insufficient information available about public perceptions of high-quality rivers. Therefore, this study, conducted in North Carolina, assessed public perceptions of a high-quality river, including links between perceptions of how attractive or how natural the river appeared and perceptions of specific ecological conditions on the river. The study also assessed the public’s perceived need for flood protection or river rehabilitation. The study’s results show that public perception of the river studied is complex and, in some ways, aligns well with available monitoring data collected from that river, but simultaneously reflects the public’s lack of knowledge about what constitutes a high-quality river, which influenced a perceived need for flood control and rehabilitation.

Additional Information

Cockerill, K. (2016). ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS AND CASE STUDIES: Public Perception of a High-Quality River: Mixed Messages. Environmental Practice, 18(1), 44-52. doi:10.1017/S146604661500040X. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2016
North Carolina rivers, water quality, public perceptions, ecological quality

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