The Lewis Family Foundation provided funding to Conservation Media Group to support the creation of this video – to spread the awareness about the Global Alert app and platform,  as well as how best to engage stakeholders in their communities to build collaborations focused on cleanup, prevention, and better management of watersheds and coastlines.

Each year, roughly 8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean, damaging marine and coastal ecosystems. Global Alert is a new platform and app which provides an innovative scalable solution that will engage, empower, and change the behavior of hundreds of communities globally to make collective improvements in reducing plastic waste that makes its way to the ocean.

Healthy marine and coastal ecosystems support all life on earth and provide necessary services, including food security, resources for economic growth, recreation and tourism, all of which can hinder or benefit the welfare of the coastline itself. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has estimated that over 70% of marine debris starts out on land. From there it makes its way into the lakes, rivers and streams that form an extensive network—a circulatory system—that can carry trash across continents and straight into the heart of the world’s ocean. Floating trash has no geographic or political boundaries, so solutions must involve scalable international collaboration, yet be local in scope and reach.

By visualizing trash hot-spots on a map, along with being able to learn about best practices for cleanup and prevention programs, community groups can develop better recycling programs and plastic management strategies, ultimately leading to less floating trash making its way to the ocean. Using Global Alert, citizens and school groups will easily “See, Share and Solve” their floating trash problems. Users will be able to upload photos or videos of trash in their water systems or coastlines, provide information on the location and coverage area based on the volume of trash they see. Monitoring agencies and community groups will be able to add, review, visualize and analyze their own data, as well as Global Alert data provided by the community, empowering them to make positive steps for improvements. Together we can leave a legacy of healthy oceans, rivers and engaged communities. Cleaner water, both fresh and salt, will be the result.