A Vancouver-based startup called Smart Shores is developing a new way to map coastal pollution using drones and special sensors. Coastal mapping techniques that currently exist are expensive and are a relatively tedious process.
Smart Shores President Nathan Vadeboncouer‘s team of scientists hope to carry out pollution testing and mapping in a faster and cheaper way. They intend to make use of drones to take high-resolution images of remote areas instead of taking images of the same region using airplanes – a costly undertaking.
They will also be taking polluted soil samples from the field and test them in labs and create 3D models of the area to understand where the pollutants are coming from. His team will mainly be looking for heavy metals, fertilizers and the disease causing bacteria, E.coli.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has banned about 30 fishing sites across BC. The soil in shellfish habitats are often found to have toxins that contaminates the fish – creating a health risk for people who eat them.