Geovation has launched an initiative to award 5000 national prizes to those who find a sustainable way to tackle coastal pollution.
Human activities on land are the biggest sources of marine pollution – an estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the worlds oceans each year.
Floods and other weather events move the waste into water, where it is carried away in currents and diffuses. It then accumulates on the coast and in estuaries, which can affect wildlife and residents.
Solid waste dumped along coastlines and scattered litter on beaches are all common sources of pollution. Ship parts can also be a major source of pollution. Detrimental fishing gear, illegal and legal dumping are all major sources of marine pollutants.
There are many risks for Britain’s coasts
We are trying to find a sustainable and long-lasting solution to diffuse coastal pollution. GeovationOrdnance Surveys Open Innovation Network Hub is launching an environment challenge with the UK Hydrographic Office, for a prize of upto 5,000 for the winner.
The coastline of Britain is a staggering 20,000 miles. This includes its islands. Most people live within 100 miles of the coast. This highlights the danger coastal pollution poses to British residents. We all will be affected by it.
Not only are coastlines at risk from climate change-induced risks like extreme storms, coastal erosion and sea level rise but also from a variety of diffuse pollution sources that can impact water quality and pollute our coastline. These can have negative impacts on the environment, which can threaten wildlife and human health.
Diffuse pollution refers to the release of potentially harmful pollutants
Although diffuse pollution may seem less dangerous when it is isolated, it can cause severe environmental damage when combined with the release of potentially harmful pollutants. Diffuse coastal pollution can be caused by poor land management and rainfall.
Diffuse coastal pollution can also be caused by agricultural runoff. This is when pesticides and other chemicals are spread from farm land into rivers, streams, and ponds.
Geovation is attempting to tackle diffuse pollution along the coast, while looking for sustainable solutions to improve water quality and efficiency.
This project aims to adapt from unsustainable agriculture practices and improve the current water- and sewage infrastructure. It also seeks wildlife conservation and beach cleanliness, which are directly affected by pollution from humans and other animals.
Inspiring sustainability across the country
Geovation works with start-ups and innovators to provide real-time access to data. The successful applicants will have access data from Ordnance Survey, including terrain, buildings, water network, and addressing. They can also access the OS Data Hub, which provides the most complete and accurate view of the GB landscapes.
This data will be supported by the UK Hydrographic Office, Met Office, and British Geological Survey. It will help identify and implement viable solutions to protect coastlines.
Geovation has supported more than 130 other start-ups and raised over 116 million to fund them. It also created over 1700 jobs. Refill, a company that helps people find places for food, drink, and shops with less waste is an example of one of these sustainably focused start ups. Paua is another company that aims simplify electric vehicle charging and allow more people to drive EVs.
Participating in our world-leading marine data sets, and expertise
Carly Morris is Head of Geovation. She said: The coastal Challenge is a great way for innovators to use geospatial, marine, and meteorological data to create sustainable solutions to critical environmental problems.
We are becoming more aware of the environmental effects of diffuse pollution in the UK. We hope that by tackling this challenge, we can find sustainable solutions that can deliver positive change and make a difference for the future of our coasts.
Mark Casey, Head Research, Design and Innovation, UK Hydrographic Office, said: We are proud to launch this challenge together with our partners at Geovation. Diffuse coastal pollution poses a significant threat to marine ecosystems. It is therefore crucial that we find long-term sustainable solutions.
“Collaboration and partnerships are some of the best ways to generate real change and to find inventive and novel solutions to challenges in the marine environment, and thats why we are pleased to support participants with our world-leading marine data sets and expertise.”