A Voice for Our Ocean

Ocean Conservancy’s Cleanup Data App, Clean Swell, Snags Webby Award Nomination for Best Public Service App

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WASHINGTON, DC – The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences has nominated Ocean Conservancy’s Clean Swell app for a Webby Award in the category of Public Service & Activism (Apps, Mobile & Voice).  Clean Swell is the official app of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), which has mobilized nearly 13 million volunteers to clean more than 250 million pounds of trash from beaches and waterways worldwide since its inception in 1986.

“We are delighted to see Clean Swell recognized by the Webby Awards,” said Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas® program. “The data that our volunteers collect using Clean Swell is invaluable to the work that we do at Ocean Conservancy, and I hope that this encourages more people to roll up their sleeves and join a cleanup.”

Developed with Beaconfire RED and first released in 2016, Clean Swell allows users to record the trash they’ve collected wherever they are around the world; earn badges based on the different types of trash found and number of cleanups completed; and share their accomplishments on Facebook, Twitter and via e-mail. Data submitted through the app instantaneously uploads to Ocean Conservancy’s global Ocean Trash Index, the world’s largest database of marine debris. The data deliver a global snapshot of ocean trash, informing solutions to the growing marine debris crisis.

“Ocean trash is having a viral moment. From news stories of whales with stomachs full of plastic to the #TrashTag challenge, marine debris is making waves online,” said Julia Roberson, vice president of communications at Ocean Conservancy. “We are excited that the institution that chooses the best of the internet has taken notice of the problem and highlighted a solution.”

“Every year, Clean Swell is reaching more people committed to protecting our oceans,” said Lynn Labieniec, CEO of Beaconfire RED.  “We’ve seen a 38% growth year over year in the number of cleanups submitted through the app. We are proud to be part of the solution to create trash free seas, empowering volunteers around the world.”

The Webby Awards were established in 1996 to celebrate the best that the internet has to offer. This year, the Webbys received 13,000 entries from across the world, and fewer than 10 percent were selected as nominees. Each nominee is eligible for one of two awards: the Webby Award, which is decided by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, and the Webby People’s Voice award, which is voted on by the public.

Voting for the People’s Voice award is open until April 18, and the winners of both categories will be announced on April 23.


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