Project Outline

There are hundreds of vessels sailing around the oceans of the world every day. As they do so they will inevitably come across ocean debris and know exactly where it is. That sort of information is incredibly useful in helping us to understand how much pollution there is in the ocean, what it is, where it is and potentially where it is going. It could even be used to track pollution so that vessels equipped to clear it up can be given accurate information on its location.

We are developing The Big Ocean Pollution Project to provide a simple solution to collecting this information. The idea is to develop a website and database along with a mobile App that will allow yacht crews, commercial sailors, passengers, in fact anyone on a boat out at sea, to geotag pollution in the ocean when they see it, describe what it is and upload a photo. That information will then automatically be uploaded to an open access database which anyone can see. This can be used in scientific analysis which in turn can help drive policy. It’s a pretty simple idea but at the moment there are no projects of this kind being undertaken!

floating plastic

The Plan

Our plan is to develop a website that will be linked with a Geographical Information System (GIS) database that will work hand in hand. We will also be developing a mobile App to allow easy data upload. Volunteers (crews and passengers) will use the App to gather the data and this will upload to our website based GIS results page providing real time information on ocean pollution. You can see what this looks like in our Big Microplastic Survey Project. The app will be simple to use but the information will be invaluable. The link below gives an idea of the sort of data we intend to collect. Data will be stored within the app if there is no internet access and to be uploaded at a later date. Once uploaded the information will automatically populate the database. A lot of the pollution will be plastic so we have included a manufacturers identification section using some of the major plastic producers so if you see product you can identify you will be able to tag them.

Big Ocean Pollution Survey App

We are currently looking for funding for the website, database development and the Apps so keep watching this space to see when we start development. Once we do we will share it with the world and start collecting that all important data.

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