Sponsored by XPRIZE, the Big Ocean Button Challenge was a global $100,000 mobile app development competition to turn ocean data into products and services.
Save The Waves beat out more than 300 competitors to win the award for best conservation app. Endangered Waves App received more than 200+ votes in October, the second most out of any app in the competition.
“Surfers are at the front lines of ocean health, and the Endangered Waves App can help scale how we report and respond to hazards in the surf zone,” said Matthew Mulrennan, director of the Ocean Initiative for XPRIZE. “We were impressed with the ease of use of this app, and how this technology could unleash a powerful constituency for ocean conservation among surfers.”
The goal of the Endangered Waves App is to mobilize the 30 million plus surfers around the world as crucial sources of data on coastal health. The app incentivizes surfers to monitor their own coastlines and surf spots globally, using a smart phone’s camera technology to document threats to surfing spots and coastlines. The user snaps a photo of the impacted site and then selects a threat category from a menu of issues like water quality impacts (sewage and oil spills), trash and marine debris, loss of coastal access, coastal erosion / sea level rise, and other coastal hazards (marine mammal beachings). The user can then include a brief comment with the photo, which is geotagged by the phone’s GPS to display on the app. The photo can be shared on the social media feeds (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) to draw more awareness, or the user can take direct action and share the issue with an agency.
“We are honored and humbled by this award. Now we are trying to meet our goal of 2,000 downloads by the end of June and would love for you to check out our app,” said Nik Strong-Cvetich, Executive Director of Save The Waves.
Gratitude: Many thanks to all of our partners who got us here—Clif Bar Co, Greg Long, Receiver Designs, MJD Interactive, and XPRIZE!
Save The Waves Coalition