Marine LitterWatch in a nutshell
The silent witnesses Image © Radovan Pondelik (Environment & Me /EEA)
WHAT AND WHY
Litter, accumulating in our seas and coasts is impacting marine ecosystems, causing problems to human activities that use and depend on the sea and raising human health concerns. European Member States are developing measures to tackle marine litter with the Marine Strategy Framework Directive but the information base is still insufficient. Marine LitterWatch aims to empower citizen communities to provide relevant data while creating more awareness at the local level on marine litter.
The European Environment Agency developed Marine LitterWatch, which combines citizen engagement and modern technology to help tackle marine litter. Marine LitterWatch offers tools – a mobile app, a web portal and a public database - to collect and share comparable data on marine litter on beaches. It also provides a platform for marine litter communities to come together, share their knowledge and co-create approaches to monitoring marine litter.
The Marine LitterWatch mobile app is available for Android & iPhone devices. Minimum standards recommended are 3G mobile network; iOS 7.0 or later (iPhone 4 or newer); Android v.3.0 (from 2012 onwards). The app can be downloaded free of charge from the Google Play Store and App Store.
Marine LitterWatch was designed to support data collection events on beaches and other stretches of coast. Although litter at sea or in rivers is crucial to monitor, Marine LitterWatch doesn´t currently support such activities.
Marine LitterWatch builds on three key elements: organised groups (the 'communities'), a mobile application, and a database. Communities organize either clean-up or monitoring events on beaches and make surveys with the mobile app to report on litter items found. A web portal is also available for the communities to more easily manage their events and data. The app uses a European harmonized list of items agreed within the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The data is available through EEA´s website.
The EEA is working together with many existing communities working on marine litter from all regional seas in Europe. Marine LitterWatch also aims to inspire new communities to form. These can range from NGOs, business and industry, coastal communities (e.g. local sports club, scouts), schools and universities, expert communities (i.e. science and research) to public authorities and other. The current community list can be found here.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
PDF generated on 28 Oct 2016, 10:32 AM