Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Ocean Recovery Alliance founder Doug Woodring came up with another clever, easy-to-implement practical idea for beach-goers, ocean swimmers, and ocean advocates.

He created the Pick Me Up bag. “One of the problems with beach cleanups is that people do not have bags or things to put their trash inside. And there is plenty of pick up on some beaches.”

Doug’s Pick Me Up bags would be a great addition to any swim. Slung over your shoulder or hooked to your waist, it is a ready-made, easy-to-use trash collection unit. The race directors in Japan already have institutionalized standard beach clean-ups before their ocean swims so all the participants pick up trash and leave the shoreline a bit cleaner than before the event.

Perhaps their efforts, along with the Pick Me Up bags, can be replicated by other coastal swims around the world so open water swimmers can easily make a positive impact on the venues where they enjoy their chosen sport,” said Steven Munatones.

Woodring explains, “The bags are made from 100% recycled plastic, designed especially for keeping your beaches clean because when plastics is thrown away, there is no away.” The bags uses 29 recycled bottles or 50 ml of plastic to make one bag.

Meanwhile, Woodring’s online tool, the Global Alert Platform, allows users to report, rate and map plastic pollution levels in their local rivers via mobile devices and web-based platforms. This platform and database helps broadens awareness, aggregate information flow, and spur solutions to reduce plastic debris outflows via the world’s rivers.

By visualizing environmental problems on a map, along with being able to learn about best practices for cleanup and prevention programs, community groups can develop better recycling programs and plastic management strategies, ultimately leading to less floating trash making its way to the ocean,” continues waterman Woodring.

Global Alert Platform is easy for people and students to See, Share and Solve their floating trash problems. Users will be able to upload photos or videos of trash in their water systems or coastlines, and then give them a rating that’s based on the volume of trash they see. Monitoring agencies and community groups will be able to add, review, visualize and analyze their own data as well as Global Alert data provided by the community, empowering them to make positive steps for improvements.”

Global Alert Platform by the Ocean Recovery Alliance is among the nominees for the 2016 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year award:

1. Prison Island Swims (International)
2. KIM SWIMS (USA)
3. Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swim (Turkey)
4. Ocean City Swim Club Unified Team / Legion of Ocean Heroes Surf Lifesaving Festival (USA)
5. KAATSU Aqua (Japan)
6. Hawaiʻi Tiger Shark Tracking (USA)
7. OceanFit (Australia)
8. The Power of Swimming or Simma med Stjärnorna (Sweden)
9. Wildswim.com (United Kingdom)
10. Instabeat (International)
11. Terroir Project Collection (Denmark)
12. Agar Plasticity (Japan)
13. Swimming in the Sink: An Episode of the Heart by Lynne Cox (USA)
14. Global Alert Platform by the Ocean Recovery Alliance (Hong Kong)
15. Blue Mind Summits by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols (International)

To vote for the WOWSA Awards, visit here. Online voting continues until December 31st 2016.

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