View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 1.

Socio-demographic characteristics collected in the survey.

 
Variable (sample size) Percent respondents (%)
What is your age? (N = 3025)
20–34 years old 6.18
35–44 years old 11.74
45–64 years old 44.69
65 years old and older 37.39
What is your gender? (N = 3065)
Male 64.18
Female 35.82
What is the highest level of education you have completed? (N = 3055)
Less than high school / some high school education 0.06
High school graduate 0.18
Some college or vocational training 0.31
College graduate 0.24
Advanced college or other professional degree 0.21
Please place an X on the line below to indicate how you see yourself on environmental issues. (N = 3150)
1 = total natural resource use; 9.56
2 0.38
3 1.49
4 3.81
5 9.11
6 = equal balance between use and protection† 34.32
7 15.84
8 15.52
9 7.94
10 = total environmental protection 2.03
The population of the city/town in which you live is: (N = 2860)
More than 100,000 people 31.29
25,000 to 100,000 people 28.64
7,000 to 25,000 people 18.32
3,500 to 7,000 people 9.86
Less than 3,500 people 11.89
Where do you live? (N = 3068)
Inside city limits 56.78
Outside city limits, not engaged in farming 37.58
Outside city limits, currently engaged in farming 5.64
State of residence: (N = 3163)
Alabama 9.20
Arkansas 8.13
Florida 16.53
Georgia 16.44
Louisiana 7.94
Mississippi 8.98
Oklahoma 8.35
Tennessee 11.19
Texas 13.25
Identified as “average American adult” in the survey.



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Responses to the survey questions about surface water quality, water pollutants, and pollution sources.

 
Survey question (sample size) Percent respondents (%)
In your opinion, what is the quality of surface waters (rivers, streams, lakes, channels, and wetlands) where you live? (N = 2585)
Poor 15.24
Fair 30.91
Good or excellent 53.85
Do you know of or suspect that any of the following pollutants affect either surface or groundwater quality in your area?
Pathogens (bacteria, viruses, germs) (N = 1351)
Know it is NOT a Problem 8.73
Suspect it is NOT a Problem 37.23
Suspect it IS a Problem 44.49
Know it IS a Problem 9.55
Fertilizer / Nitrates (N = 1725)
Know it is NOT a Problem 5.68
Suspect it is NOT a Problem 26.84
Suspect it IS a Problem 54.55
Know it IS a Problem 12.93
Fertilizer / Phosphates (N = 1687)
Know it is NOT a Problem 5.63
Suspect it is NOT a Problem 26.97
Suspect it IS a Problem 54.36
Know it IS a Problem 13.04
In your opinion, which of the following are most responsible for the existing pollution problems in rivers and lakes in your state? (Check up to 3 answers) (N = 2619)
Industry 42.65
Stormwater runoff 27.80
Agriculture–crops 27.68
New suburban development 26.42
Erosion from roads and/or construction, repair 26.38
Septic systems 21.76
Agriculture–animals 19.32
Wastewater treatment plants 17.33
Runoff from home landscapes 16.27



View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 3.

Logistic regression analysis results: Effects of socio-demographics, general environmental worldviews, and residence characteristics on respondents’ attitudes and opinions about surface water quality, pathogen and fertilizer pollution, and pollution causes.

 
Variable Surface water quality in respondents’ areas Pollutants affecting either surface or groundwater quality in respondents’ areas
Sources most responsible for the existing pollution problems in rivers and lakes in respondents’ states
Pathogens Fertilizer/phosphates Industry Stormwater runoff Agriculture– crops New suburban development Erosion from roads and/or construction, repair Septic systems Agriculture- animals Wastewater treatment plants Runoff from home landscapes
Intercept 0.68† –2.46† –2.06† –0.98† –1.09† –0.97† –0.84† –0.90† –1.27† –1.41† –1.78† –0.55*
0.12 0.85†
2.29† 2.46† 3.16†
Age (reference = 65 and older)
20–34 years old –0.43* 0.56* 0.31 0.26 0.46* –0.50* 0.09 –0.08 –0.12 –0.72** 0.29 –0.60*
35–44 years old –0.13 0.64† 0.39* 0.14 0.15 –0.15 0.17 0.15 0.04 –0.60† 0.14 –0.29
45–64 years old –0.06 0.57† 0.51† 0.05 0.33† 0.02 -0.18 –0.16 0.04 –0.27* 0.31* –0.30*
Male 0.15 –0.38† –0.24* 0.09 0.25* 0.61† –0.06 –0.29† –0.37† 0.15 0.05 –0.09
Education (reference = advanced degree)
Less than high school/some high school –0.34 0.30 –0.75** –0.49* 0.09 –0.72** –0.92† 0.61** 0.32 –0.35 0.40 –0.10
High school graduate –0.04 –0.28 –0.75† 0.00 0.04 –0.66† –0.63† 0.38* 0.28 –0.59† 0.45* –0.25
Some college or vocational training –0.18 0.04 –0.33* –0.07 –0.12 –0.55† –0.13 0.22 0.31* –0.38* 0.45** –0.36*
College graduate 0.03 –0.05 –0.20 –0.16 –0.13 –0.27* 0.19 0.18 –0.06 –0.09 0.15 –0.11
General attitudes toward environment
–0.07† 0.07* 0.16† 0.06** 0.03 0.06* 0.06* –0.04 –0.05 0.03 –0.06* 0.03
Size of the community of residence (reference = more than 100,000 residents)
25,000 to 100,000 people –0.11 0.00 –0.10 –0.10 0.04 –0.01 0.34** 0.04 0.15 0.00 –0.31* 0.14
7,000 to 25,000 people –0.10 –0.14 –0.03 –0.09 –0.10 0.15 –0.03 –0.01 0.11 0.05 –0.27 0.08
3,500 to 7,000 people 0.00 0.23 –0.11 –0.09 0.11 0.11 –0.24 –0.20 0.38* –0.29 –0.24 –0.08
Less than 3,500 people –0.20 0.30 0.13 –0.31 –0.09 0.35* –0.42* –0.20 0.32 0.39* 0.03 –0.31
Residence (reference = inside city limits)
Residence outside city limits, engaged in farming –0.07 –0.23 –0.96† –0.25 –0.36 –0.45 0.22 0.16 0.09 –0.42 0.59** 0.18
Residence outside city limits, not engaged in farming 0.14 –0.22 –0.41† –0.08 0.09 –0.06 0.17 0.10 0.24* –0.12 0.08 –0.42†
State of residence (reference = Florida)
Alabama 0.28 –0.85† –1.06† 0.89† –0.28 –1.02† –0.82† 0.14 0.09 0.09 0.03 –1.16†
Arkansas 0.94† –0.97† –0.98† 0.13 –0.60† –0.06 –0.71† –0.14 0.36 0.83† –0.15 –1.16†
Georgia 0.12 –0.35 –0.82† 0.58† –0.23 –0.95† –0.04 0.79† –0.26 –0.20 0.17 –0.70†
Louisiana –0.60† –0.19 –0.59† 0.81† –0.84† 0.15 –0.97† –0.18 0.58** 0.17 0.27 –1.12†
Mississippi 0.13 –0.76† –1.30† 0.21 –0.51* 0.19 –1.04† 0.05 0.61† –0.01 0.28 –1.40†
Oklahoma –0.22 –0.45 –0.31 –0.08 –0.30 –0.69† –1.13† –0.21 –0.37 1.26† 0.24 –0.96†
Tennessee –0.28 –0.69† –1.03† 0.70† –0.48** –0.48** –0.27 0.13 0.03 –0.03 0.17 –1.26†
Texas –0.15 –0.47* –0.84† 0.46† –0.07 –0.60† –0.33* –0.16 –0.28 0.19 0.06 –0.73†
Model performance
Likelihood ratio test (degrees of freedom = 23) 100.63† 84.16† 196.71† 86.10† 55.89† 170.57† 168.61† 86.65† 97.56† 120.36† 44.87† 106.42†
C 0.60 0.62 0.67 0.61 0.60 0.67 0.67 0.63 0.64 0.65 0.60 0.66
*Significant at the 0.05 level.
**Significant at the 0.01 level.
Significant at the 0.009 level.



View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 4.

Characteristics of the states in the southern United States.

 
State Percent of state area that is water† Population growth, 2000–2010 (%)‡ Percent of state area in cropland, 2007§ Percent of state area in grassland pasture and range, 2007¶ Percent of state area in urban uses, 2007#
Alabama 1.9% 7.5% 9.5% 8.0% 3.4%
Arkansas 2.1% 9.1% 24.1% 9.7% 1.8%
Georgia 1.8% 18.3% 12.4% 3.5% 6.5%
Florida 8.7% 17.6% 7.5% 14.9% 10.9%
Louisiana 9.5% 1.4% 17.2% 7.5% 4.3%
Mississippi 1.7% 4.3% 12.5% 4.7% 1.3%
Oklahoma 1.8% 8.7% 29.1% 42.5% 1.6%
Tennessee 2.2% 11.5% 22.3% 7.8% 5.9%
Texas 1.9% 20.6% 19.9% 59.4% 2.7%
Source: USGS (2010).
Source: Mackun and Wilson (2010).
§Based on (1) 2007 (estimated) cropland area (USDA-ERS, 2007a) and (2) total land area in each state (StateMaster.com, 2013).
Based on (1) 2007 (estimated) grassland pasture and range (USDA-ERS, 2007b) and (2) total land area in each state (StateMaster.com, 2013).
#Based on (1) 2007 (estimated) land in urban areas (USDA-ERS, 2007b) and (2) total land area in each state (StateMaster.com, 2013).



View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 5.

Demographic characteristics of selected sub-samples of survey respondents.

 
Groups Group description No. of respondents† Avg. age (years) Male (%) Proportion of respondents by educational levels
General attitudes toward environment
Less than high school High school Some college of vocational training College degree Advanced degree
1 Agricultural 148 56.5 81.8% 8.8% 28.4% 36.5% 14.2% 12.2% 5.5
2 Rural 664 59.3 66.3% 6.7% 24.1% 33.7% 20.5% 15.0% 6.0
3 Urban 997 57.9 67.0% 4.0% 13.9% 27.1% 29.0% 26.0% 6.3
Note that the number of responses used in the analysis of specific survey questions can be smaller, since respondents can skip some of the survey questions.