Roughly 80% of all litter in the ocean comes from land, with rivers, streams and creeks being the main "carrier" of waste to the sea. To address the problem of increasing marine debris flowing to our ocean, Ocean Recovery Alliance announced the Global Alert platform at the Clinton Global Initiative, as an innovative, online tool and mobile app which allows users to report, rate and map plastic pollution levels in their rivers, along ocean coastlines, and even underwater on reefs. This will broaden awareness, aggregate information for decision-making, and spur solutions to reduce plastic debris outflows via the world’s rivers or accumulation on coastlines. Global Alert will accomplish this goal by addressing a number of issues that include:
∙ Enabling community participation for reporting and problem solving
∙ Catalyzing active watershed stewardship focusing on rivers
∙ Providing global awareness and monitoring
By visualizing trash hot-spots on a map, along with being able to learn about best practices for cleanup and prevention programs, community groups can develop better recycling programs and plastic management strategies, ultimately leading to less floating trash making its way to the ocean. Using Global Alert, citizens and school groups will easily “See, Share and Solve” their floating trash problems. Users will be able to upload photos or videos of trash in their water systems or coastlines, provide information on the location and coverage area based on the volume of trash they see. Monitoring agencies and community groups will be able to add, review, visualize and analyze their own data, as well as Global Alert data provided by the community, empowering them to make positive steps for improvements. Together we can leave a legacy of healthy oceans, rivers and engaged communities. Cleaner water, both fresh and salt, will be the result.