Tuesday, March 23, 2021

New Pollution Mapping App Trialled on Beach Clean Up After Storm

Plans to Extend Abilities to Aid Cut Shipping Related Detritus
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE – The Eyesea initiative, the not for profit outfit formed last year to map global pollution and maritime hazards in the never ending battle to eliminate them, has been used this month in support of a coastal clean-up operation.

Eyesea uses maritime industry-developed technology to collect observational pollution data and build comprehensive maps designed to inform and empower government and NGO environmental efforts. The beta version of the app was used to conduct a survey of the Isle of Man coast after the island was battered by storms and high tides which washed up fishing nets and large amounts of rubbish and debris earlier this month.

Eyesea is supported by companies from the shipping sector as well as individuals, and the joint clean-up event organised by Beach Buddies and PlasticBusters subsequently collected 520 kilogrammes of trash littered over a large area of Douglas Beach on the self-governing British Crown Dependency. One of the team leaders was involved in this operation, as COO Catherine Robertshaw now lives on the island, and she commented:

“Preserving our beautiful Isle of Man UNESCO Biosphere takes hard work and effort. Bill Dale of the internationally acclaimed Beach Buddies and Jaime Amoedo of PlasticBusters are a positive driving force in our community to get clean-ups done, and it was fantastic for Eyesea to play a small role in helping to streamline efforts and maximise success.”

Ahead of the Isle of Man clean-up, the Eyesea App was deployed to highlight areas where concentrations of debris and rubbish had washed up, Bill Dale, founder of Beach Buddies said the App enabled the teams to save time, with the 117 volunteers collecting over half a tonne of waste in just 90 minutes.The Isle of Man is of course an important European business hub for international shipping located in the Irish Sea. Graeme Somerville-Ryan, founder of Eyesea, observed:

“We are often asked what we do with the Eyesea data we collect and how we will use it. This event is one answer to those questions. We believe there is a major role for Eyesea in helping communities efficiently and effectively care for their coastal environment. The shipping industry, with our tech and our reach, can provide key support to community and government clean-up initiatives. It was great to see a proof-of-concept test work so successfully.

"Over the last six months, the Eyesea prototype has been tested by onshore community volunteers around the world, in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, India, Hong Kong, Chile, South Africa, the Isle of Man and the UK. There is a great desire for people to try and do something and to report what they are seeing on their coasts, and in their cities and towns. As people understand the power of this information, we hope Eyesea will be able to support more clean-up initiatives, this is what it has been built for."

The Eyesea App received plaudits for the accuracy of the information and Jaime Amoedo, founder of PlasticBusters, said:

“It was great to be able to test the Eyesea App for the first time, and it gave our group of volunteers quality information, in advance, about the specific locations that waste had washed up on Douglas Beach. This allowed us to focus our efforts on those areas that needed the most attention. We will definitely recommend the use of the App to our volunteers globally when it is launched!”

Photo: The Beach Buddies and PlasticBusters joint clean-up operation on the Isle of Man guided by Eyesea data.