What if every surfer in the UK could help to save the ocean, every time they hit the waves?
Near-shore data or accurate temperature and GPS readings are pretty expensive to consistently capture. To get meaningful and accurate information of the health of the ocean, we need marine scientists to be out in the water everyday.
They need to understand the ocean and have no problem committing themselves to being there without fail. This causes a bit of a problem for scientists, who can't really afford to be at sea and not in the lab all year round.
When oceanographer Bob Brewin realised half a million surfers are heading out into the line up every day, he came up with the awesome idea.
By strapping sensors the boards of UK surfers, he could turn them into data collecting machines!
Surfboards would be equipped with low-cost sensors to measure the health of the ocean and data would easily be collected each and every time they hit the water.
“The idea is to start building data sets with temperature and potentially other environmental variables around the coastline," says Brewin.
“There are not many long-term data sets on temperature around the coastline in the U.K. or around any coastline, for that matter."
“Typically, these lower-quality sensors don’t have huge precision," he said. “But if you begin to average huge amounts of data, it should be as useful as a single high-quality measurement."
Helping to protect the future of the ocean? Good! Getting to surf everyday while doing it? Even better!
At the University of Plymouth, the idea is still in it's planning Stages but we're hopeful for what it's future will bring!
With products and schemes like the Smartfin in the US proving a success last year, lets hope that Brewin's idea goes to plan and soon all surfers in the UK will be collecting data with every barrell and lip!