Background

Attitudes toward Marine Wildlife Survey

Attitudes toward Marine Wildlife among Residents of Southern California's Urban Coastal Zone, USC Sea Grant publication USCSG-TR-01-2001, was written by Dr. Jennifer Wolch, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.

A grant from the US Sea Grant Program supported the research, for which we are most grateful. Other participants in the research project included Marcie Griffith, Unna Lassiter, and Jin Zhang. Chris Kahle wrote and edited the on-line Highlights series. We appreciate the assistance of USC Sea Grant Program personnel in planning this on-line series, especially Phyllis Grifman, Associate Director, and Lyndell Whitley, Educational Program Coordinator.

The study consisted of a random telephone survey of 850 Los Angeles County residents over 18 years of age. The sample was designed to emulate the racial/ethnic composition of the county. The survey was translated into Spanish, Chinese, and Korean, and was administered by bilingual interviewers when necessary. Interviews were conducted Monday-Friday from 9:00am to 9:00pm and Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Respondents were each asked a series of 100 questions to probe attitudes, use, stance on policy issues, interactions and experiences, and knowledge involving marine wildlife and the coastal zone.

The group was 35% White, 35% Latino, 12% African American, and 10% Asian-Pacific Islander. Almost 60% were born in the U.S., with the largest share of immigrants being from Mexico (18%). Almost 40% of all respondents reported speaking a language other than English at home. Respondents were nearly equally divided in terms of sex, most were under age 45 (54%), and over 60% did not have children living at home.

The survey sample was somewhat split regarding socio-economic status. Although over half had completed at least some college, over 15% lacked a high school diploma and almost a quarter held only a high school degree. Not surprisingly, about 30% had household incomes over $50,000/year, while almost 20% had household incomes below $20,000/year.