Oregon boaters want more restrooms

August 15, 2009

More than half of Oregon boaters say restroom availability is inadequate at  the state’s ramps and docks.    In fact, the lack of restrooms rank third among boaters’ complaints, after boat wake disruptions and no-wake zone violations. 

marine-board-logoIn a survey conducted every three years by the Oregon State Marine Board  54.8% of respondents noted the lack of restrooms.  This represents a considerable jump over results of previous surveys.    
According to Boating in Oregon: Triennial Survey Results released this week,  “The explanation may be linked to the increasingly selective habits of boaters to converge on prime waterways and fisheries at the same moment. The advent of the Internet allows people to time their boating activity with prime water conditions and fishing success.” …On the busy days, parking and restrooms are over-whelmed, but the area is underused for the remainder of the season.   
At the same time, survey respondents recognized recent improvements.    According of the survey report, “For restrooms, Coos River South Fork, Loon Lake and Suttle Lake received perfect scores! “
In collaboration with Oregon State University, the Marine Board sends out questionnaires by mail and enjoys a 70% response rate.  The survey provides policy guidance to local and state authorities on issues of concern to commercial and recreation boaters.    A item regarding restrooms first appeared in the 2002 questionnaire and has allowed the board to track growing public demand for restrooms in public areas where boaters gather.   
There’s a lesson here.  If a questionnaire gives people the chance to comment on restrooms, they will demand more and better ones.  If the question is left out, however, fewer people will bring it up on their own.   We are still don’t talk toilets….and this is a big part of the problem.

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2 Responses to Oregon boaters want more restrooms

  1. phlush on August 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I’ve just learned that Oregon has had floating toilets for the past ten years! Hats off to the Oregon State Marine Board and all the local communities who make innovative toilets like these happen!

    Follow this link to print out a list of them. http://www.employment.oregon.gov/OSMB/library/docs/CVA-Pumpouts.pdf

  2. Oregon’s Floating Toilets | PHLUSH on August 24, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    […] of  human powered boats such as canoes and kayaks also benefit.    Toilet availability remains a priority of boaters, fueled by their commitment to environmental health as well as to personal convenience.     A […]

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Our Mission Through education and advocacy, PHLUSH helps local governments and citizen groups to provide equitable public restroom availability and to prepare for a pipe-breaking seismic event with appropriate ecological toilet systems.

Our Vision Toilet availability is a human right and well-designed sanitation systems restore health to our cities, our waters and our soils.

Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human (PHLUSH) was founded in Portland, Oregon and today collaborates with groups across North America.

PHLUSH is a member of the World Toilet Organization and a partner in the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance.

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