Ocean Decade Laboratory Satellite Activity

Remote Sensing and Smart Tech for Marine Litter

The satellite event aims to raise awareness, among Member States and stakeholders, about the state-of-the-art capabilities and limitations of remote sensing to support the monitoring and management of marine litter, by means of instruments on board of satellites, aircraft, and drones. Creating this awareness is an essential part to align needs with capabilities and find a common ground for a successful development of the technologies.

We will discuss these needs of the target community, explain the current and near future capabilities, the best available techniques, and agree on a roadmap to match them together, along with the elaboration of a set of actions and recommendations to support their development and fulfilment.

We will coordinate existing working groups to support a Call-for-Action platform to foster the use of remote sensing as a complementary monitoring strategy for marine litter. The activity will benefit from the full support and participation of the IOCCG Task Force on Remote Sensing of Marine Litter and Debris, as well as of a coordinated set of international experts from academia, industry, civil society and stakeholders from the global network that the organizing committee of this Activity has access to, which includes OASIS, IMDOS and the Marine Debris Working Group from Blue Planet.

The event will impact the community by linking participants and stakeholders with the recently formed international task force, focusing on this emerging research field, and enabling guidelines and knowledge and networking opportunities, with the goal to grow the community in a coordinated way, optimizing the international efforts.

The connections with world-leading space agencies (NASA, ESA, JAXA, ISRO) enable the transformation of the conclusions and recommendations of the Satellite Activity, into real action plans for the deployment of the technologies and services required by the stakeholders, to be developed in the years to come.

The expected follow-up annual events will serve to monitor such developments and update the roadmap according to the evolving needs of cleaning and mitigation strategies, as well as of the policy makers.

Being remote sensing technologies one of the most affordable and low-cost solutions within reach of developing countries, our science-based and pragmatic approach for the activity is meant to take this fact in consideration, acknowledging that are precisely those countries in the most need of technical solutions at their disposal for tackling the environmental issue of marine litter.

The aim of these approaches is to work collectively with the global community towards the objective of “A Clean Ocean” within the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and in particular the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.1, the G20 Osaka Blue Ocean Vision, the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris, national policy goals and Action Plans to end marine litter.

With such purpose, the expected outcomes will be drawn so to produce measurable impact within the indicators agreed by the international community and UNEP on this decadal global sustainability objective.

Finally, we aim to produce a resilient and lasting impact within the global community, by promoting the event and its outcomes beyond the life of the Satellite Activity, in the following way:

  1. With the organization of follow-up activities in annual basis.
  2. Generating, storing, and openly distributing the recordings of the sessions and discussions of the Satellite Activity.
  3. Sharing the messages received from the global community during the event, whereas as recorded personal videos, or written messages.
  4. Producing a documentary of the event, including participation of relevant personalities and stakeholders.

All contents will be freely available via website and in YouTube, as well as distributed by means of dedicated social media accounts.

 

Programme

18th November

13:00 -15:00 CET

Part 1 – End-users and economic/societal Stakeholders

  • Introductory presentation to the session, Janet Salem, UN/ESCAP
  • Ibu Luckmi Purwandari, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia
  • Sabine Strnad, Alliance to End Plastic Waste
  • Amandine Declerck, Suez, France
  • Vitor Verdelho, European Algae Biomass Association
  • Maria Manuel / Isa Cardoso, Port Authority Aveiro and Figueira da Foz
  • Mariana Mata Lara, AQUA-LIT, Hungary
  • Breakout discussion and summary,  moderated by Janet Salem, UN/ESCAP

17:00 -19:00 CET

Part 2a – Science & Technology capabilities (I)

  • Introductory presentation to the session, Victor Martinez-Vicente, PML, UK
  • Manuel Arias, CSIC, Spain
  • Shungu Garaba, University of Oldenburg, Germany
  • Ahmed Gabr, ImageIf, Egypt
  • Chuanmin Hu, USF; USA
  • Els Knaeps, VITO, Belgium
  • Breakout discussion and summary, moderated by Victor Martinez-Vicente

19th November

13:00 -15:00 CET

Part 2b – Science & Technology capabilities (II)

  • Introductory presentation to the session, Paolo Corradi
  • Kostas Topouzelis, University of the Aegean, Greece
  • Eduardo Silva, INESCTEC, Portugal
  • Nikolai Maximenko, University of Hawaii, USA
  • Christa Marandino, GEOMAR, Germany
  • Laia Romero, Lobelia Earth, Spain
  • Caleb Kruse, Earthrise Media, USA
  • Breakout discussion and summary, moderated by Shungu Garaba

17:00 -19:00 CET

Part 3 – Breakout discussion and Workshop

  • Presentation on Summary of outcomes from previous parts, Manuel Arias, CSIC, Spain and Paolo Corradi, ESA, Netherlands
  • Messages from the global community
  • Conclusions and final key messages

SPEAKERS

Konstantinos Topouzelis

Calibration and Validation databases for marine litter detection: Plastic Litter Projects and Coastal Marine Litter Observatory

Konstantinos Topouzelis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Marine Sciences, University of the Aegean and he is leading the Marine Remote Sensing Group. His main research interest is on the analysis of remote sensing datasets, including satellite and aerial images, for marine and coastal applications. His expertise includes automatic detection of oceanographic phenomena, Object Based Image Analysis, image processing algorithms and coastal mapping. The last years has focus his research on the marine litter detection and runs the Plastic Litter Projects (PLP); an innovative exploratory application of open-access satellite imagery and drone data for the remote detection of artificial floating marine plastic targets.

Paolo Corradi

Paolo Corradi works as system engineer at the European Space Agency (ESA), where he coordinates the ESA Discovery Campaign on Remote Sensing of Plastic Marine Litter. He has been working with ESA at ESTEC, Netherlands, since 2009, first for the development of payloads for the International Space Station and then for the development of satellite optical instruments and technologies in the Optics Section. He received a M.S. degree in electronic engineering and a PhD in microsystems engineering.

Victor Martinez

Dr. Martinez-Vicente is a bio-optical oceanographer, specialised on the study of the optical properties of particles in the aquatic environment (oceanic, coastal and inland) to pioneer new multidisciplinary remote sensing applications for ocean colour data. Currently, he leads research at Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML, UK) on remote sensing detection of marine plastic debris pollution and ocean health.

Mariana Mata Lara

Toolbox for Good Marine Litter Management in the Aquaculture Sector

Mariana Mata Lara is a Project Manager at Geonardo Environmental Technologies, in charge of the coordination and implementation of EU funded projects in the areas of marine and coastal management, as well as on science education. She coordinated AQUA-LIT project focused on co-developing with aquaculture stakeholders a toolbox of innovative ideas and solutions to tackle marine litter at sea and have better management practices. Mariana is also part of the management team of the Surfrider Foundation – Porto Chapter, focusing on Ocean Advocacy and has shaped her career and hobbies around the Ocean.

Caleb Kruse

Detection and Monitoring of Waste Sites in Southeast Asia using Sentinel 2 Data

Caleb Kruse is a researcher with Earthrise Media focusing on using artificial intelligence and remote sensing to better understand environmental change. Prior to Earthrise, he studied oceanography at Stanford, before leading the machine learning team at Leap Motion focusing on computer vision systems applied to virtual and augmented reality.
Outside of his data science work, Caleb is also a National Geographic explorer. His projects have included driving an ice cream truck across the US to speak with children about exploration and conservation, tracing the saltwater aquarium fish trade, and telling the story of the highest elevation road in the Himalayas. He continues to work with National Geographic on projects ranging from the oceans to the stratosphere.

Chuanmin Hu

Remote detection of marine debris using vis-NIR satellite observations: challenges and potentials

Nearly all marine life depends on light. Dr. Hu’s research is focused on addressing coastal ocean problems using primarily optics. These problems include river-ocean interactions (transport and transform of particulate and dissolved matters), carbon cycling, algal blooms, coral reef environmental health and ecosystem connectivity, climate change and anthropogenic influence on coastal/estuarine water quality. As light exists both below and above the surface of the ocean, Dr. Hu and his group members at the Optical Oceanography Lab approach these problems through 1) characterizing the underwater light field using the state-of-the-art optical equipment; 2) developing satellite remote sensing algorithms and data products specifically targeted to these problems; and 3) integrating these products with other data to understand coastal ocean changes in bio-optical properties as well as their causes and consequences.

The current research at OOL emphasizes the use of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to better understand the 3-dimensional light field and algal bloom formation, and high-resolution satellite remote sensing from which customized data products are derived for estuaries, turbid coastal waters, and optically shallow waters (e.g., coral reefs, seagrass). The recent establishment of a virtual antenna system (VAS) and a virtual buoy system (VBS) greatly facilitates data and information sharing on coastal blooms and general water quality with a variety of user groups.

Els Knaeps

Optical characterization of marine (plastic) litter

She has 10 years of experience in Remote Sensing Image processing for water quality and coastal management. Her research has mainly focused on suspended sediment and turbidity retrieval in turbid coastal waters. It has led to her collaborations with universities, research institutes, industries and international organisations. She is a member of several international workgroups in the field of inland and coastal water quality and has coordinated several research and commercial projects. At present, Els leads a team of researchers working on biodiversity, water and coastal applications.

Shungu Garaba

Researcher at Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment - University of Oldenburg in Germany;
Expert in hyperspectral remote sensing with a focus on water quality and aquatic plastic litter monitoring as well as algorithm development.
The detection and identification algorithms are based on classic empirical approaches and modern machine learning methodologies utilizing information from the ultraviolet to longwave infrared spectrum.

Manuel Arias

Manuel Arias is an expert in satellite-based remote sensing, knowledge area in which he started to work in 2003, with a special emphasis in research and development of novel applications for Oceanography, Climate Sciences and Environment.
Since 2013, and after working 10 years at the University of Cádiz (Spain), he gained a position in ARGANS Ltd (United Kingdom), being transferred to ARGANS France (France) in 2018. Since November 2021, he works for the research institute ICM-CSIC (Spain). His expertise relates to space-based observations of Salinity, Ocean Heat Content and Marine Litter.
Since 2016, he has been leading a number of projects for the development of Earth Observation capabilities devoted to marine litter, and in particular, macro plastic litter, with a special focus in the use of optical data for detection, classification and identification of floating debris. These activities include feasibility studies for a mission concept, and exploitation of Sentinel-2 and VHR data for marine litter mapping from space.
In 2020, he co-founded the creation of the IOCCG Taskforce that merges the international effort in this context, which counts with the support of NASA, ESA, JAXA e ISRO spaces agencies.

Janet salem

Janet has been working with the United Nations on environmental sustainability over the last 15 years, with a focus on sustainable resource management. Currently, she manages a program supported by the Government of Japan called Closing the Loop, which uses plastic pollution calculators and remote sensing from land and space to monitor plastic pollution in South East Asia cities, after which is supports them in the development of city action plans to prevent plastic leakage. Previously her focus has been on sustainable consumption and production, and circular economy solutions, which she applied through science policy interfaces (International Resource Panel), national policy development, private sector strategy, education and consumer facing programs. She established the Asia Circular Economy Leadership Academy, and the Asia Pacific Low carbon lifestyles challenge, a startup competition for entrepreneurs with alternatives to single use plastics and carbon intensive products. Her key interest with regards to the use of remote sensing for plastic pollution is building a digital twin of the natural world to enable cooperation between stakeholders to prevent pollution. She has a Masters degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of New South Wales (Australia), and is currently undertaking a part-time PhD on Integrated Sustainability Analysis at the University of Sydney.

Amandine Declerck

Marine litter Initiatives at SUEZ Smart Environnemental Solutions

Dr. Amandine Declerck holds a PhD in Physical Oceanography, with a specialization in coastal hydrodynamics. She joined SUEZ after her PhD in 2017. She leads both research and operational projects, with applications involving ocean monitoring and modelling. She is an expert in coastal circulation and related transport modelling. She conducted several advanced studies in various coastal environments, including estuarine areas with strong influence of local river plumes and urban sewer systems outflows. She is also lead in the development of SUEZ solution (i) as part of Plastic Less Society Feasibility Study, aiming at developing services to reduce marine plastic litter, (ii) and as part of MedEOS project aiming at monitoring water quality parameters using Earth Observation in the Mediterranean coastal area.

Vítor Verdelho Vieira

The relevance of of Remote sensing for marine litter detection – in seaweed harvesting

Vitor Verdelho Vieira is mentor of several companies that he co-founded with partners in different sectors. He started his first microalgae biotech company Necton, SA – www.necton.pt in March 1989, which is now an European leader in the production and sale of traditional sea salt and fleur de sel, as well as the production of microalgae for aquaculture and cosmetics. He is also co-founder and board member of A4F – Algae for Future, SA – www.a4f.pt an international reference company in the sector of macro and microalgae technologies and bioengineering.

Sabine Strnad

Sabine Strnad currently serves as Senior Advisor Knowledge Sharing & Data for the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. She has over 30 years’ experience in solid waste management at local, regional, state and international levels working across Europe, Africa, South Pacific, South-America and Asia in public and private sectors. She is a recognized expert in waste and plastic waste recovery and recycling, environmental reporting and sustainability and pioneered on Stewardship and the Extended Producer Responsibility principle. Sabine is also the author of a waste recycling handbook. She holds a bachelor’s degree in plastics engineering, a bachelor’s degree in environmental management and a master’s degree in economics

Eduardo Silva

Hyperspectral Imaging System for Marine Litter Detection

Professor Eduardo Silva is the Coordinator of the Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CRAS) at INESC TEC and Professor at the School of Engineering (ISEP) of the Porto Polytechnic Institute (IPP). He has a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Porto. His main research areas are marine robotics, control architectures, perception and navigation for autonomous robots. He has participated in more than 14 research projects and has more than 60 publications in the area of the Field Robotics.

If you need any additional information please send an email to Jose Luiz Moutinho.

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