This Independence Day, Wednesday, July 4, 2018, Keep America Beautiful, the nonprofit steward of litter prevention for more than six decades, is partnering with Fishbrain (www.fishbrain.com), the world’s most popular mobile app and social network for people who love fishing, to ask the app’s over 4 million U.S. users to undertake the largest-ever one-day crowdsourced audit of litter in the U.S.
The collaboration between Keep America Beautiful and Fishbrain, which was inspired by users removing and photographing trash during their everyday angling, harnesses the popularity of fishing on the Fourth of July, a day when anglers traditionally fish in high volumes. Using the hashtag ‘#trashoftheday’ and Fishbrain’s geolocation features, users of the app will be encouraged to remove littered items they encounter while fishing and upload images.
The data collected about volumes and locations of trash in America’s waterways, lakes, and shorelines will allow Keep America Beautiful to better understand the composition of litter in waterways around the country, so their nationwide teams of local volunteers can more effectively focus litter removal and prevention efforts.
Turning the tide on trash
Research from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests that almost 80% of ‘aquatic trash’ is made up of consumer goods, with the amount more than doubling between 1960 and 2013. The pollution of water by plastics has become an increasing concern throughout 2018, with further scientific research showing its detrimental effects on the environment, wildlife, and even human health.
Fishbrain users will be looking to reverse this trend through their trash-logging efforts – with users asked to keep an eye out for the following list of items (as suggested by Keep America Beautiful):
- Plastic beverage containers
- Plastic bags
- Other plastic items (e.g. plastic cups and plates)
- Bottle caps
- Plastic straws
- Metal beverage containers
- Cigarette butts
- Glass beverage containers
- Paper items
Speaking on the partnership, Johan Attby, CEO of Fishbrain, comments: “Our users love nature, and are committed to looking after the American countryside that we all treasure. With this in mind, it’s an honour to work with the folks at Keep America Beautiful to help tidy up waterways across the country. To harness technology in this way, and to engage with a community already out and about fishing on the Fourth of July, should have some beautiful consequences and we can’t wait for lots of anglers to heed our call!”
“Much of the current discussion about the scourge of marine debris is related to reducing and preventing land-based litter – and particularly plastics – from reaching our oceans,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO, Helen Lowman. “Our partnership with Fishbrain and its millions of fishing enthusiasts will help identify litter hot spots ‘upstream,’ while focusing our collective attention on keeping our waterways cleaner and more beautiful for all of us to enjoy.”