Northeast
Screenshot via Narragansett Bay Estuary Program

RI - New report uses cell phone data to provide insight on patterns, pollution along the shores of Rhode Island

Narragansett Bay Estuary Program (NBEP) just completed an interactive, online narrative that pioneers the use of cell phone data to look at tourism and recreation on our coasts from the perspective of environmental management.

The Narragansett Bay Estuary Program (NBEP) recently completed an interactive, online narrative that pioneers the use of cell phone data to look at tourism and recreation on our coasts from the perspective of environmental management.

Here are some key points from the online narrative that used anonymized cell phone data to track visits to the Narragansett Bay coast:

  • In summer 2019, 2.5 million people visited the shores through public access. Visitors came from all 50 states.
  • Are beaches our biggest attraction? Public beaches reeled in half a million visits in summer 2019, but it turns out that the vast majority of visits were to other public sites such as marinas, fishing sites, and coastal parks and trails.
  • Where do folks go? One-third of all visits were to public sites in the upper bay—where pollution is greatest.
  • What’s the take-away? We could substantially boost tourism and recreation by continuing to address pollution issues in those areas and prioritizing public access, particularly in under-resourced communities.
  • Privacy concerns? Cell phone data was anonymized and aggregated prior to purchase, meaning that researchers work with simple counts and cannot see individual phones, location history, or personal information.

With permission and access from NBEP, What’s Up Newp shares the full report below.


Read more.

See also Narragansett Bay Estuary Program (nbep.org)