The Clean Marine app debuted on the Android Market in September 2011 and will soon be available in the Amazon Appstore. The free app streamlines the process for boaters to report large debris in waterways.
“Reporting debris, like abandoned marine vessels or oil barrels, is absolutely critical,” says Murphy, the app developer and a lifetime resident of the S.C. coast. “When debris goes unreported, there is no way of knowing how much is out there and lawmakers are unlikely to allocate funding without knowing the extent of the problem. Just reporting the debris to the appropriate agency is an easy way for the average boater to help keep our waterways clean.”
During the 2011 boating season, just six reports of large abandoned marine items were collected. Murphy thinks that is because boaters were required to fill out a paper form with GPS coordinates and a picture attached – requirements that were difficult aboard a boat and beyond the average boater’s willingness to help. His app recreates the paper form onto something most people always have with them – their smartphone.
The Clean Marine app walks boaters through the reporting process including providing their name, address, type of debris and county. They can then take a picture to include and the app automatically collects their GPS coordinates. Within a minute, the boater has recorded all pertinent information and can click submit, whereby the information is transmitted to the appropriate authorities. If the boater is not currently connected to the internet when the debris is spotted, the data will be saved and sent when the phone is back online. In its first month on the Android Market, the app has been downloaded more than 100 times.
Murphy created this app as his thesis for the Master in Environmental Studies (MES) program. He was able to combine his hobby of programming with his passion for environmental issues in the thesis entitled, “Adoption of new Technology for the Improvement of a Citizen Science Project: Clean Marine Smartphone App.” Murphy sees mobile technology as the future for citizen science and a great tool for researchers everywhere in almost any discipline.
“Through my education I have frequently run into research situations where more data was needed than researchers could afford to collect because of time or money constraints. Frequently these projects are aided by the use of citizen science methods to involve the community and volunteers. But, many of these efforts still rely on outdated, unreliable, and inconvenient methods of data collection. Mobile applications can change that.”
Murphy anticipates earning his master’s degree in December 2011 and hopes to partner with other researchers to bring mobile applications to their projects and involve the community
Back in June we posted the Top 10 States for boating based on expenditures. Earlier this month, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) released the 2010 U.S. Recreational Boat Registration Statistics Report which looks at boat registration numbers for the year, and gives us all an indication of how the economy is affecting us boaters around the country.
The 2010 Top 10 Registrations:
The report, released by the NMMA in October 2011, ranks each state based on total boat registrations. Here are the states that made the top ten and their numbers…
1. Florida: 914,535 registered boats in 2010, decreasing 3.6 percent from 2009’s 949,030 but holding onto number 1.
2. Minnesota: 813,976 registered boats in 2010, increasing 0.3 percent from 2009’s 811.775 and moving from 3rd place to 2nd in this annual list.
3. Michigan: 812,066 registered boats in 2010. Michigan moved from fourth to third, staying relatively flat in 2010 compared to 2009’s 811,670.
4. California: 810,008 registered boats in 2010. California dropped to fourth from second, decreasing a whopping 10.7 percent compared to 2009’s 906,988.
5. Wisconsin: 615,335 registered boats in 2010. Wisconsin remained ranked fifth, decreasing 1.8 percent compared to 2009’s 626,304.
6. Texas: 596,830 registered boats in 2010, decreasing 4.1 percent compared to 2009’s 622,184.
7. New York: 475,689 registered boats in 2010, decreasing 0.7 percent from 2009’s 479,161.
8. South Carolina: 435,491 registered boats in 2010, compared to 435,528 in 2009.
9. Ohio: 430,710 registered boats in 2010, increasing 1.4 percent compared to 2009’s 424,877.
10. North Carolina: 400,846 registered boats in 2010, decreasing 1.2 percent compared to 2009’s 405,663.
Ever run across a product that is so simple that you wonder why you didn’t think of it? Here is one that falls into that category.
Safe Launch is a drain plug reminder system that protects your family, friends and boat from sinking. With Safe Launch’s hook and strap components, you can easily insert a reminder directly into the drain hole so you remember to replace your drain plug before you launch. Safe Launch fits All Boats, Jet Boats & PWCs.
Forgetting to replace the drain plug is one of the most common causes for boat and personal water craft sinking’s in the United States. According to Boat U.S. Marine Insurance, the cost of repairing a boat that has been underwater, even briefly, is usually about 40% of its value. Safe Launch is the only drain plug reminder product on the market that places the reminder where you need it most–in the drain hole. Protect your family and your investment.
The product costs around $20.00. If you can’t find one in your local marine store you can buy it online by clicking here