Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~ Dale Carnegie
Ready to go out and get busy? Let technology help you! Here are five free clever apps that you can use to make a difference for our oceans:
A new app that just launched in July 2016, Sharktivity serves the Eastern seaboard by providing information on white shark sightings. It sends out beach alert push notifications and encourages users to submit their own shark sightings. The goal is to allow white sharks and humans to co-exist peacefully.
This app received early confirmation that it is a powerful tool when a family boating in Chatham, Massachusetts received a push notification of a nearby white shark and then safely witnessed the beautiful shark swimming by.
- Marine Debris Tracker
A citizen scientist app that provides an easy way to report any trash you encounter on our coastlines or waterways. The app records the GPS coordinates and the data is kept and analyzed by the University of Georgia. You can submit your findings on the go or wait until later to upload your report. The goal is to raise awareness for the growing problem of pollution and encourage citizens to report, pick up, and share their story on social media.
An app designed to connect the traveling surfer community with elements of social good. Surfr allows users to log surf sessions, check in, share info and photos with friends. So instead of guessing what the surf conditions may be out there you can get the full scoop direct from other surfers. Have a favorite restaurant in that area? Just mark it as a resource so other surfers can enjoy it too. The best part is the crowdsourcing feature! Are you visiting a remote region that needs clean water, medical resources, or has a horrible pollution problem? Then, just drop a pin in that region and share the need with the entire Surfr community so help can be found.
This app works directly with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Under their “confidential secret witness program”, this app enables citizens to easily report any poachers or polluters they encounter. It provides an anonymous two-way conversation with wildlife officers and encourages witnesses to relay as much detail about the violation as possible including photos. If the info supplied by the witness leads to an arrest they may be eligible for a reward. Just an extra bonus for being a concerned citizen.
- Whale Alert 2.0
The original “Whale Alert” app was launched in 2012 to help protect endangered whales from the heavy commercial traffic in the Eastern U.S. shipping lanes. This new 2.0 version covers both the East and West Coasts as well as Canada. It also goes beyond just preventing ship strikes by allowing users to report any live, distressed, or dead whales. The app automatically sends sightings to the appropriate agencies and facilitates direct communication with first responders as needed. Also, when vessels enter a protected zone such as the newly created California MPA’s, the system will send out an alert along with any pertinent info.
If you know of any other useful apps that can help our oceans, please leave a comment below! We’d love to hear from you.