Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020VI333B

Raising Awareness and Participation With a Social Media App: Reducing Terrestrial Sedimentation and Promoting Clear Coastal Waters

Institute: Virgin Islands
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 1970-01-01 End Date: 1970-01-01
Total Federal Funds: $43,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: Not available

Principal Investigators:

Abstract: This project will utilize an education and outreach campaign to launch a smart phone application (Muddy Waters Watch) and use social media techniques to increase awareness and monitoring of watershed development projects or other sources of erosion that leads to increased sediment loads into nearshore marine environments. The mobile app will allow persons to document sources of erosion, through geo-referenced photo and text, and submit to a central server, where data will be uploaded to an interactive website to create a Story Map. These data can be used by DPNR managers to efficiently target erosion hot spots to educate, encourage and enforce implementation of proper sediment control measures. We will also capture the imagination of the community by branding the charismatic cleaner goby in a social media campaign (Cleaner waters for the cleaner gobyâ€) targeting different age groups. This campaign will require an active research component on effects of sediment on cleaner gobies in nearshore environments near freshwater outputs. This will allow us to make a direct connection between watershed management and the health of the coastal marine environment. Stakeholders participating in both terrestrial and marine components will contribute to the creation of the Story Map. The project will train one UVI Masters of Marine & Environmental Science student.