When a vessel accidentally discharges cargo at sea, or when oil spills occur, or when plastics or any floating marine debris is cast adrift on the ocean, it will eventually arrive on shore. In most cases affected landowners, neighborhoods, small communities, or municipalities will be the first to notice the accumulation of flotsam and jetsam on local beaches. We have developed a mobile phone application to simplify the recording, mapping, and networking of observations. The app works anywhere but is tailored for wildlife and objects found on shore or near the coast. The main objectives of the project are to: 1) Promote citizen science, 2) Develop baseline data, 3) Analyze change over time, by facilitating the recording, sharing, and networking of credible shoreline observations including wildlife, beach cast animals, and marine debris with geo-tagged observations and photos. The browser based app is available at www.beachobserver.com and is also available for download from iTunes.
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