SEA Currents: News
May 15, 2018
New Collaboration on Marine Debris
In partnership with the University of Georgia, SEA was awarded a grant from 11th Hour Racing. Working with the University of Georgia, SEA will support curriculum and in-port research activities around waste management and ocean plastic pollution in the next Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures & Ecosystems (SPICE) program.
Plastic pollution is a global threat to our oceans. The actions of individuals can help mitigate the problem through positive changes in behavior, and they can also help researchers better understand the distribution and type of marine debris through citizen science.
The Marine Debris Tracker is a citizen science data collection app developed by Dr. Jenna Jambeck and Dr. Kyle J. Johnsen from the University of Georgia. The app is used to compile global data on the amount, distribution and type of debris observed or collected by users. To date the application has approximately 1,500 regular users (and over 15,000 downloads) who have collectively logged 1.2 million pieces of debris. This open-source data feeds directly into peer-reviewed research on marine debris and is the only application that can be used offshore by sailors and boaters, including through the Volvo Ocean Race.
This grant project will build on and expand the Marine Debris Tracker app, as well as forge new partnerships with the new marine debris startup company Seabin and Sea Education Association with the goal of using and applying the data collected to inform change around the world.