Motivating Factors Behind Environmental Activism: A Case Study of Beach Clean-up Participants

by Elizabeth A. Fuller, Univ of Rhode Island, Kingston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '93


This study was initiated to investigate the motivating factors behind environmental activism. Participants in a Rhode Island beach clean-up were surveyed for information about their attitudes, knowledge, and socio-demographic attributes. Analysis revealed that older, better educated, knowledgeable people who expressed a high degree of affect and verbal commitment were more likely to express greater actual commitment. The three factors with the most influence on behavior are verbal commitment, age, and education. Of these three factors, the only one that managers, administrators, and organizers are able to influence is education. Educational programs should, thus, be designated to 1.) create awareness and understanding and 2.) to enable the receiver of the information to become involved.

Subject Headings: Beaches | Case studies | Motivation | Ecological restoration | Social factors | Education | Beach protection and nourishment | Coastal management | Rhode Island | United States

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