The Eyesea pollution mapping platform has been used for the first time in support of a coastal clean-up operation. 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.
A joint clean-up event organised by Beach Buddies and PlasticBusters subsequently collected 520 kilograms of trash littered over a large area of Douglas Beach on the self-governing British Crown Dependency, a renowned European business hub for international shipping located in the Irish Sea.
Graeme Somerville-Ryan, founder of Eyesea, said: “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.”
Eyesea was launched officially in December 2020. The not-for-profit initiative uses maritime industry-developed technology to collect observational pollution data and build comprehensive maps designed to inform and empower government and NGO environmental efforts.
“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,” said Somerville-Ryan.
“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.”
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, helping save time and maximise the efforts of the more than 100 volunteers who attended the clean-up.
Bill Dale, founder of Beach Buddies, commented: “The clean-up was a record-breaker.117 people joined in on Douglas Beach. Boosted by the team from PlasticBusters and guided by the Eyesea App we collected 520kgs of rubbish in about 90 minutes.”
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!”
Cath Robertshaw, Eyesea’s COO and Isle of Man resident, said: “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 maximize success.”