Clean Beaches Week combines the spirit of Earth Day with the fun of Independence Day, to celebrate our beautiful beaches and bring awareness to keeping them clean. Rarely can a person visit a beachfront and fail to observe trash. Innovate! Inc. (Innovate) knows it is imperative to keep our beachfronts clean in order to protect the foods and medicines sourced from the ocean, keep in mind future generations who will enjoy their beauty, and keep the climate in check.
Here are a couple highlights on how Innovate keeps our beachfronts clean.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Water (OW) Sanitary Surveys for Recreational Waters
Within the EPA’s Office of Water (OW), they conduct sanitary surveys as a method of investigating the sources of fecal contamination to a waterbody. Sanitary surveys are often used for drinking water, shellfish, and watershed protection programs. Sanitary surveys for recreational waters involve collecting information at the beach or waterbody's shoreline, as well as in the surrounding watershed. Sanitary surveys help state and local program managers and public health officials identify sources of water pollution, assess the magnitude of pollution, and identify priority locations for water testing.
Innovate leveraged Survey123 to convert the EPA’s Office of Water’s Sanitary Surveys into an application to help state and local beach programs identify sources of pollution in watersheds that are impacting beach water quality. State and local beach managers use the Sanitary Survey information to prioritize resources to improve beach water quality and develop models to predict beach water quality. This application is accessible via multiple platforms - web browser, tablet, and mobile - and transmits the information to the ONE EPA Workplace GeoPlatform, which is then shared by different jurisdictions within the platform. Users can complete and store forms offline which enables field data collection where connectivity is often unreliable. Our application was featured on the National Institutes of Health Acquisition (NITAAC) Solution’s Showcase as a geospatial solution that impacts health and water quality.
The presence of plastics in the world’s water systems is a critical environmental and health crisis. They cause pollution by entering natural ecosystems from a variety of sources, including cosmetics, clothing, and industrial processes. Compounding the threat of plastics is inefficiencies in current recycling practices. Kamilo, a Public Benefit Corporation dedicated to the reduction of global plastic waste, has partnered with Innovate to track the journey of plastic from waste to a recycled product. Kamilo ensures that the plastic they track is actually recycled/reused. Leveraging the power of geographic information system (GIS), Kamilo creates a verifiable link between plastic recovered and its actual reuse through global supply chain tracking. This model provides businesses that sell recyclable plastic (e.g., bottles) a way to guarantee that their plastic output is matched in recycled material via real-time geospatial verification of source and successful recovery.
This innovative technology brings much-needed transparency and accountability to the global plastics supply chain and recycled plastics markets. Innovate is helping Kamilo’s data be transparent and verifiable by storing their data in a ledger database that provides an immutable and cryptographically verifiable transaction log. This blockchain-like data model ensures indisputable evidence that the plastic asset existed and is tracked to its final resting place. This is a unique solution because it merges GIS data with a blockchain-like data model.
Innovate staff also customized and extended Esri’s Survey123 application to allow Bluetooth device scanning for asset chain of custody tracking. As an asset moves from place to place, end users can scan for Bluetooth devices within reach and capture their unique IDs. The results are submitted to a database and mapped for viewing in the office.
No matter our proximity to beaches, their cleanliness impacts all of us. Innovate is one of many global contributors committed to our environment.