Every year, in addition to just picking up trash and debris, the Ocean Conservancy has quested participants to record their findings. This data is important when creating jaw dropping graphics like this one:
Signing up is easy, only requiring very basic information such as your e-mail. Incidentally, I abhor getting junk mail and I have found only summary e-mails from what I have reported appear in my inbox. I can absolutely live with that. The intro page for the app is self explanatory and user friendly. The purpose of installing this app is to motivate those participating in a structured clean up to consider doing more cleanups on their own and still report the data. This is an efficient and waste-free option and to be honest not particularly time consuming. I'm sure most people, like myself, keep their phone on them anyway so sending in the data was even less trouble than sending an e-mail. The "History" tab is a very cool function that provides the use an opportunity to track what they have done and where. The profile is simplified, with only your zip code and e-mail kept so you don’t have to fret about too much personal information being on file.
Here is an easy pro / con list:
- Less to carry vs a clipboard, paper and pencils
- Easy to report data
- Data is quickly available to the Ocean Conservancy
- The ability to track your own data and look at what you (or your team) have collected. This type of data can really help a program measure the direct impact in a community.
- The phone must be out and used every 10 seconds or so. Otherwise it will time out and your cleanup data is lost. I am not aware of this being fixed via update since my last clean up. I did not find a way to change the timeout settings.
- Clumsy users might want to have someone else handle the phone while they pick up trash.
- In the Florida heat, your phone may get hot being out in the elements. I put mine in a dry bag, and was able to touch the screen through the plastic, but my phone became very hot since it was on constantly. (I have a GalaxyS7)
Have fun reclaiming the water and consider adding the Clean Swell App to help keep that New Year's Resolution to be a citizen scientist in 2018!