Semester of Graduation
Master of Science (MS)
Plant Environmental and Soil Sciences
Determining the public perception of invasive species in Louisiana is an important tool to help shape and develop future management decisions, educational material and ultimately public policy. Therefore, the primary purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of adult Louisiana residents regarding invasive aquatic plant species and their management. An online survey was used to collect data on registered Louisiana residential boaters’ perceptions towards invasive aquatic plants and their management. A postcard with a quick response code leading to the survey was mailed to 6,000 randomly selected Louisiana registered residential boaters. Of the 230 Louisiana registered boaters that participated in the study, the largest group of respondents was aged 60+. Most boaters did not belong to any environmental or conservation organizations, while most boaters participated in fishing or hunting. Salvinia (giant and common) was the plant identified most frequently by boaters.
The “Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Website” was ranked as the most effective information source on invasive aquatic plant species by the largest number of respondents. Older boaters in Louisiana (60+) tended to have higher perceptions regarding the need for management of invasive aquatic plants. Registered boaters who were members of one or more environmental or conservation organizations had higher need for management perception scores as compared to boaters who were not a member. Invasive aquatic plants were reported as problematic for the majority of boaters while boating in Louisiana’s waterways. Boaters considered the problem with invasive aquatic plants in Louisiana “Very Serious.”
The researcher recommends a follow-up study in Louisiana be designed to study the behaviors of boaters related to invasive aquatic plants and attempt to measure boaters’ intentions to prevent the future spread of these invaders in Louisiana.
Ribbeck, Anna, "Louisiana Resident Perceptions on Invasive Aquatic Plant Species and Their Management" (2023). LSU Master's Theses. 5728.