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Marine Debris Tracker

October 6, 2016

A smartphone app allows citizen scientists to track litter that makes its way into our waterways.



An app for tracking plastic pollution. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Citizen scientists help researchers by recording weather conditions, tracking bird migrations, and even identifying galaxies. And, through the Marine Debris Tracker program, they’ve helped track more than 750,000 pieces of trash to date. University of Georgia researcher Jenna Jambeck says that members of the public can help scientists identify sources of plastic pollution by downloading the Marine Debris Tracker app and using it along river and coastal areas.

JENNA JAMBECK (University of Georgia):

We have a large community; we have really dedicated users in various environments and it’s being used by citizen scientists and just casual beach goers as well.


Jambeck says the program helps regional and community organizations study pollution and identify ways to keep it out of waterways and oceans. It’s available for both Android and iPhone. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.


Story by Susanne Bard