More Results From the Goucher Poll

The Goucher Poll asked residents for their opinions about the key environmental issues the state is facing, which are detailed below.

Sixty-two percent of residents rate the health of the environment in Maryland as either “poor” or “fair,” while 36 percent rate it as “excellent” or “good.”

In general, Marylanders are concerned about pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. Sixty-one percent say they are “very” concerned, and 24 percent are “somewhat” concerned. Fourteen percent are either “not at all” or “a little” concerned.

To address the decline in the crab population in the Chesapeake Bay, 63 percent of residents would support a one-year moratorium on the harvesting of crabs; 26 would oppose a yearlong ban on crabbing.

“It’s clear that Marylanders care deeply about their bay, and a majority of residents are even willing to give up a year of crabbing if it could help stop the decline of Maryland’s signature dish,” said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center. “It will be interesting to see what course of action the leading environmental scientists in the state suggest to address the decline in the crab population before next harvesting season.”

Climate Change

Fifty-nine percent of Marylanders believe climate change is caused mostly by human activity, while 31 percent think it is caused mostly by natural patterns in the earth’s environment. Four percent of Marylanders do not believe climate change exists.

When asked whether climate change was a threat to the well-being of Maryland residents, 53 percent deem it a “major threat”; 31 percent, a “minor threat”; and 13 percent think climate change is “not a threat.”

Hydraulic Fracturing, or Fracking

Marylanders are mixed on how much they have heard about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Twenty-eight percent say they have heard “a lot”; 15 percent have heard “some”; and 19 percent have heard only “a little” about the process. Thirty-four percent have heard “nothing at all.”

Respondents who have heard “a lot,” “some,” or “a little” about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, were then asked their perceptions.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents believe hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, poses an environmental threat in Maryland, while 21 percent do not. Another 20 percent indicate they “don’t know” if the process is a threat.

A quarter of residents think the state should encourage fracking because of the potential economic benefits, while 58 percent think the state should discourage it because of the potential environmental impact. More than half of Marylanders (52 percent) would support a ban on hydraulic fracturing in the state, while 31 percent would oppose such a ban.

About the Goucher Poll

The Goucher Poll is conducted under the auspices of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center, which is housed in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Goucher College. Directed by Mileah Kromer, the Goucher Poll conducts surveys on public policy, economic, and social issues in Maryland.

Goucher College supports the Goucher Poll as part of its mission to instill in its students a sense of community where discourse is valued and practiced. The Goucher Poll is fully funded by the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center endowment and does not take additional funding from outside sources.

The Goucher Poll seeks to improve public discourse in the state by providing neutral and nonbiased information on citizen perceptions and opinions. The data collected by the Goucher Poll are used to support faculty and student research.

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