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Wildcat Cove Eelgrass Social Marketing

Wildcat Cove Eelgrass Social Marketing

Client: Whatcom County  

Case Study: Peak is partnering with Shew Design to develop and implement a social marketing campaign encouraging boaters to reduce damage to pristine eelgrass beds at Wildcat Cove in Larrabee State Park. Working with the Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee (MRC), the team will develop and implement a social marketing campaign to encourage boaters to reduce and avoid boat launching activities that damage eelgrass beds in this fragile ecosystem. The boat launch at Wildcat Cove is the only launch location for many miles, but this activity can damage eelgrass beds.

Our team is conducting field and best practices research, including boat launch observations, boater interviews, and a survey. Our study will assess how the boat launch is used in a variety of different circumstances, how boaters perceive eelgrass, and what influences their decisions about launching their boats. We will establish the target audience and key messages about eelgrass protection and work with Shew Design to build visual and written materials that communicate these key messages. 

Impact: Eelgrass is the nursery of the sea. Wildcat Cove is full of eelgrass, but recreational boaters may be impacting the eelgrass with their boat launch activities. Learning more about what influences this behavior will inform messages designed to educate and increase awareness of the negative impacts on habitat and the ecosystem. Key messaging will ultimately inspire voluntary compliance in protecting eelgrass by reducing and limiting boat launching activities in certain places and at certain times.

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