The first reporting tool designed to document when and where marine debris harms animals in the Carolinas and Georgia is now available. The “Tangled in Trash” app relies on information from anyone who finds wildlife entangled or injured in marine debris and trash.
“We’re eager for people to begin documenting what they’re seeing in North Carolina and across the region,” says Gloria Putnam, North Carolina Sea Grant’s coastal resources and communities specialist, and a member of the team who provided input for the app.
Kelly Thorvalson, conservation programs manager for South Carolina Aquarium and coordinator for the project, says Tangled in Trash will collect several types of key information.
“More than 200 species of wildlife have been documented as being affected by marine debris, but interactions are not well understood,” explains Thorvalson. “This tool will house reported wildlife and marine debris interactions to help users, researchers, wildlife responders, and others identify critical trends and concerns and strategize actionable solutions.”
The Wildlife and Habitat Impacts Working Group, part of the NOAA-facilitated Southeast Marine Debris Action Plan, offered insight and feedback on Tangled in Trash. The app uses Anecdata, an online platform available from the MDI Biological Laboratory.
Anyone can join the Tangled in Trash project and submit an observation by downloading the app.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program and National Marine Sanctuary Foundation funded this project.