The Delta Watershed Initiative Network (WIN) initiates and coordinates environmental education that address a broad range of environmental topics on preventing pollution, promoting watershed science, teaching how water quality is measured, and about the Delta ecosystem and environmental stewardship.
The Conservancy partnered with the Sacramento Area Creeks Council and the Franklin High School Plastics Club to develop an activity guide and other educational materials for using Litterati to collect and display pollution data. The Conservancy will be building on this effort by collecting data using Litterati at the upcoming Delta Waterway Cleanups on Saturday, April 9th, 2016. For more information about Delta Waterway Cleanups, click here or contact Kathryn Kynett using the contact information listed at the bottom of this page.
What is Litterati?
Litterati allows citizens to upload images of trash in the environment and geotags the images to create a worldwide display of trash in the environment. The goal is to engage the public in watershed stewardship through an art and technology approach. Litterati is also a data synthesis and reporting platform. Reports can be generated by dates, geographic locations, persons or groups reporting data, and types of data. You can go to Litterati.org to see photos users have uploaded to the world map (click on “impact”) and photo gallery (digital landfill) and for a current report (statistics) of the most commonly found items.
How Does it Work?
Litterati uses an interactive photography app for mobile devices that allows users to submit photos and information about the litter they are finding in the environment. You can follow these steps below to using Litterati:
- Download the Instagram or the Litterati app (preferred) on your phone.
- Find a piece of litter in the environment.
- Make sure your phone has location services turned on.
- Photograph the litter with the Instagram or Litterati app.
- Add hashtags (the symbol # followed by a word or phrase) to assign that litter to a pollution category (#plasticbag, #foodwrapper, #plasticbevbottle, etc.). We invite you to use the Conservany’s recommended list of hashtags (link below) to help with standardized reporting for the Delta region. You can also add hashtags to identify your organization or region (use #CaDelta when in the Delta). Add #Litterati_delta if you would like the Conservancy to receive your submission. If you are using Instagram, by adding #Litterati and a location, your submission will be sent to the Litterati and placed on the map.
- Click submit or upload.
- Properly dispose of the Litter.
- Go to Litterati.org and click on “impact” to see the world-wide map and zoom into your area to find the photo you uploaded. Click on “digital landfill” to see your image in the photo gallery.
Are You Interested in Using Litterati in an Educational Activity?
The Conservancy, Sacramento Area Creeks Council and Franklin High School Plastic’s Club have developed an activity guide, recommended hashtag list, safety guide and an example citizen science report. These materials are available at no cost and are meant as a ready-to-go packet for using Litterati on your own or as a part of a larger educational activity.
If you are interested in the educational component of Litterati, there are many different subjects that can be taught in conjunction to enhance this activity. This activity can be combined with other activities and curriculum for topics such as; learning about watersheds, water chemistry, sources of pollution, the scientific method, data analysis, anthropological effects on the Earth, urbanization and the environment, geospatial information, socials science as well as art and social change. If you are interested in adapting the activity guide to support a specific educational topic, please use the information at the bottom of the page to contact Kathryn Kynett to learn more about opportunities for collaboration.
- The Conservancy has coordinated with wildlife educational groups to teach youth in the Delta about native wildlife and stewardship.
- The Conservancy has held environmental education events in conjunction with the Delta Waterway Cleanups, and provided opportunities for citizens to take measurements of water quality using water quality test kits.
- The Conservancy visited ~100 students in their classrooms to teach watershed science and stewardship, and led fields trips to the Cosumnes River Preserve where students had a hands on opportunity to take measurements of water quality and learn about the Delta ecosystem first-hand.
Please contact Kathryn Kynett at (916) 376-4022 or Kathryn.Kynett@deltaconservancy.ca.gov for questions/information relating to Delta WIN, the Conservancy’s environmental education efforts and opportunities for collaboration.
(Image Courtesy of M. Bias, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, public domain)