SEA-MDI has launched our Mobile Application, Marine Debris Tracker. The app is available for both Android and iOS platforms (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch). Simply search for “marine debris” in Google Play or itunes from your phone and download it directly to your phone. Or go here for Android or here for iPhone.
For an explanation on how to use the app, go to our website for Android and for iPhone/iPad/IPod Touch. For Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), including directions on how to log potential tsunami debris, go here.
Briefly, the Marine Debris Tracker mobile application allows you to help make a difference by checking in when you find trash on our coastlines and waterways. You can easily track and log marine debris items from a list of common debris items found on the beach or in the water. The app records the debris location through GPS and you can view the data on your phone and submit to the Marine Debris Tracker Website for viewing and download later (requires registration, which you can do from the app). Your username is shown on the website for only the most recent 5 items tracked, but GPS coordinates not shown. All downloadable and mapped data with GPS coordinates is shown anonymously to the public. More information available on the website under “How do I Start Tracking?”. Marine Debris Tracker is a joint effort of the NOAA Marine Debris Division and the Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative (SEA-MDI) out of the University of Georgia College of Engineering.
Comment from one of the developers, Jenna Jambeck, College of Engineering, University of Georgia:
Marine debris has been, and continues to be, a persistent and pervasive pollution source. Marine Debris Tracker allows for really fast and efficient data collection, which is critical to designing plans to prevent marine debris. Another part of the solution is to get people to even notice (and then pick up) debris. This app is one way we are trying to reach people to have them take notice and then help mitigate the issue… and if you are noticing trash, you are also much less likely to litter (although debris comes from other sources too). While this app collects data (which people can use in various ways to assess the issue), one of the primary goals is to get the app out to educate as much of the public, in a culturally relevant way, about marine debris and its harmful impacts.