We must face the truth; marine litter is a global environmental problem with no country-specific borders. But where is this problem coming from?
Almost 80% of marine litter is linked to activities in the mainland (riverine outputs, sewage systems, etc.) while in the Mediterranean Sea, almost 50% of litter comes from tourism (i.e. beachgoers, nautical tourism, etc). Interestingly, more cigarette butts are present on a substantial scale along the Mediterranean. Black Sea’s main marine litter source is riverine outputs (i.e. Danube delta etc) and tourism.
PERSEUS recognizes Marine Litter as an important environmental threat. After participating in the pilot testing of the smartphone application Marine LitterWatch (MLW), developed by the European Environment Agency (EEA) during the summer season of 2013, PERSEUS is now creating an extensive survey network dedicated on beach marine litter, by launching the PERSEUS-MLW campaign.
Through its extensive partners network, PERSEUS is actively promoting the collection of marine litter data on beaches in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, extended at some points even in the Atlantic Ocean!
On the launch (1 May 2014) of the PERSEUS-MLW Campaign, a total of 41 PERSEUS-beaches have been adopted by PERSEUS partner Institutes in Tunisia (2), Morocco (4), France (6), Italy (8), Malta (1), Israel (5), Spain (3), Turkey (1), Greece (2), Cyprus (1), Bulgaria (4), Romania (5); these beaches will be surveyed four times per year for marine litter by using Marine LitterWatch application.
The aim of the PERSEUS-MLW Campaign is to create a panorama on beach marine litter data, enhance environmental awareness and involve citizens and scientists into PERSEUS main concept of Clean Seas by 2020!
We would like to thank everyone that supports this initiative!
In addition, PERSEUS is launching the ambitious PERSEUS@School in cooperation with the Greek Ministry of Education (Secretariat of Environmental Education). The project involves the setting up of an ambitious and pioneering Environmental Educational Project in selected areas of Greece (Saronikos&Patras) involving a host of teachers and students who will use the MLW app for beach marine litter monitoring as well as for raising students’ awareness on environmental issues.
For the PERSEUS Marine LitterWatch Campaign please contact Christos Ioakeimidis firstname.lastname@example.org
Marine LitterWatch app
To address this issue, the European Environmental Agency (EEA) is offering the citizen science based Marine LitterWatch (MLW). The MLW app aims to help fill data gaps through beach marine litter monitoring within the framework of MSFD, while raising the public’s environmental awareness on marine litter.
iPhone/iPad : https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/marine-litterwatch/id850977882
Android : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.litterwatch
The app allows people to make beach surveys using a European master list of marine litter items. These items are commonly found on Europe’s beaches, for example, plastic bags and bottles, cigarette butts, fisheries relatedmaterials, etc. Data on the litter found is further submitted through the app to a central database hosted by the EEA. From this database, data can be retrieved, directly linked or used by regional/national databases and/or further disseminated into a wider range of products (e.g. survey reports and maps). Data can also be visualised through the EEA web site and embedded in other web pages or applications.
For more information on the Marine LitterWatch app, please contact the European Environment Agency at email@example.com.
It's a plastic world!
A new video has just been released about marine litter plastic waste. It has been endorsed by several NGO's and organisations that are concerned with plastics and marine litter.
You can find more information on it here as well as watch a 'Making of' video about this new project.