Nov 29, 2012
A new app is now available for reporting large, unusual and potentially hazardous marine debris–especially items that may have been swept into the sea by Japan’s devastating March 2011 tsunami.
The March 2011 Japanese tsunami dispersed roughly 1.5 million tons of debris eastward across the Pacific Ocean. Authorities believe the majority of this debris will arrive on the west coast throughout 2013 with a large mass expected to reach coastal waters within a few weeks. Coastbuster can help government agencies locate, photograph and track large or potentially hazardous objects, while providing important data to researchers studying ocean currents.
Developed by Ocean Networks Canada in collaboration with Simon Fraser University's Spatial Interface Research Lab, Coastbuster allows volunteers and residents of coastal communities to gather evidence of tsunami debris and share this information using social networking tools. The mobile tracking app is simple to use and supports coordinated debris-location efforts along the Pacific coast from Oregon to Alaska.
Simply photograph the debris you find, enter some descriptions, and upload to Ocean Networks Canada. We will forward your reports to authorities. We’ll also upload your photos to , where you can browse, share and comment on the full collection of marine debris snapshots.
The photos and information you provide are sent to Ocean Networks Canada staff members who review them and post them to the Coastbuster photostream on Flickr. Debris that are unusual, potentially hazardous or possibly linked to Japan's tsunami are also reported to NOAA's Marine Debris Program and the BC Ministry of Environment.
Coastbuster is avialable for Android. (iPhone version in development.) You can download it from Google Play.