Polaris, a new way to protect the oceans?


At stake

We know that pollution is only increasing day by day. Or at least it has become more and more important in our daily lives. Many people say they are willing to make efforts to reduce their impact on the planet, but what is the situation really like?

The sea is one of the areas that suffers from our pollution. Indeed, the fauna and flora of our aquatic spaces are getting worse every day. Species are threatened with extinction and even disappear due to marine pollution. Today, there are nearly 500 dead zones covering almost 250,000 km² worldwide. This area represents the area of the United Kingdom. These dead zones make animal and plant species disappear and are the result of our pollution.

France is not spared by the latter, and the seas / oceans that surround the country (metropolis and islands), is growing from year to year. In France, several factors affect water pollution. First of all there are pesticides, there are also livestock farming, shipping, the various discharges that humans make into nature, sometimes directly into the sea or the ocean.

The Septentrion Environnement association

Polaris is a program developed by the Septentrion Environnement association. This association is composed of different people who act for the environment. Indeed, within the association, people have multidisciplinary knowledge. There are marine biologists, technical engineers, photographers, videographers, professional divers, trainers and environmental educators. The purpose of this association is to contribute to the protection of the marine environment. It is an association that is important for the knowledge of the marine environment, its conservation and its enhancement.

Platform for Coastal Observation Applied to Research (Polaris)

Polaris is an application that has been developed by the Septentrion Environnement association. This is a program that allows divers to share what they can see underwater. This makes it possible to have a database on the fauna and flora that is present in the area. It is a participatory geography.

At first, the association noticed that to protect the environment, it was necessary to have the knowledge of what needed to be protected. And for that, it was essential to know the marine depths.

Source : Septentrion environnement

The way to collect data is very simple, divers will practice their sport but at the same time using tablets they will inform directly what they observe. This makes it possible to locate the different species that have been observed. After that, once the diver has finished he puts his data on a platform and then the data is sent in raw or processed ways to the partners who will further analyze the results. For the time being, only the association’s divers can do this work since they believe that scientific knowledge is essential. But the objective is to find a way to further open the application to collect as much data as possible.

So it works with underwater geolocation, then people can process the data by locating the fauna and flora that have been observed at key locations. Then it is a question of producing maps to be able to act on pollution.

 

Sources :

https://marseille.latribune.fr/economie/2019-09-24/polaris-ou-quand-la-cartographie-en-temps-reel-des-oceans-prend-forme-828863.html

https://www.open-sciences-participatives.org/fiche-observatoire/166

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