The beauty of the Mississippi River is part of everyday life here in the Quad Cities, and local groups are partnering with other Mississippi River leaders and organizations to join the Mississippi River Plastic Pollution Initiative.
Using the smartphone app “Marine Debris Tracker,” community volunteers can help track plastics and other trash to assist scientists, policy-makers, businesses and community members take informed action. Under the leadership of Mississippi River Cities and Town Initiative (MRCTI), the mayors of communities along the Mississippi River, in partnership with United Nations Environment Programme, National Geographic Society and the University of Georgia, have launched the initiative to combat plastic pollution along the river.
The Quad Cities initiative runs through October 31. All data collected during this time using the free app Marine Debris Tracker will be analyzed to help understand the state of plastic pollution along the Mississippi River. The Quad Cities data snapshot is an ongoing project about education and outreach about plastics in inland waters. The app is current available on Android and iPhone.
“I’m so excited to see the pollution tracker project come to fruition,” said Bettendorf Mayor Robert Gallagher, past co-chair of the MRCTI and current board chair for the Waste Commission of Scott County. “An outgrowth of this work is the reduction of pollution in the river which will save us money cleaning the water for consumption. The Mississippi River is America’s most essential inland waterway, providing hundreds of billions of gallons of water each day to key industries, as well as drinking water to 20 million people in 50 cities in 10 states, as it does for us in the Quad Cities.”
Community members can collect data on their own or as part of an organized event through Xstream Cleanup, which hosts local information on the initiative, the app, tracking maps, partner-led events and ways individuals can get supplies to conduct debris and data collection on their own.
For more information, click here.