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Geovation launches environmental challenge to tackle coastal pollution - Ordnance Survey

Geovation, Ordnance Survey’s open innovation network hub, has launched a challenge with the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) to find a sustainable solution to tackle diffuse coastal pollution, with a prize of up to £5,000 for the winners.

Diffuse coastal pollution causes significant damage to the coastal environment and as an island nation, with a coastline of almost 20,000 miles (including the islands), it is a serious issue for Great Britain. Furthermore, with a negative impact on human health and the food chain, the consequences of diffuse coastal pollution are felt beyond the coastline.

Our coastlines are not just at risk from extreme storms, coastal erosion and sea level rise caused by climate change, but from a multitude of diffuse pollution sources that can affect the water quality and pollute our coastal areas with a negative impact on the surrounding ecosystem.

Sources of diffuse pollution are often minor in isolation, but collectively can be very damaging to the environment due to the release of potential pollutants. Often driven by rainfall and how we manage land, diffuse coastal pollution can occur as a direct result of agricultural, urban and marine pollution sources.

Diffuse coastal pollution can be caused by agricultural run-off when pesticides and chemicals are lost from farming land into rivers, streams and ponds, as with urban areas due to poorly plumbed drainage systems, untreated wastewater, septic tanks, and flooding from sewers. All of which can accumulate on the coastline and in estuaries that affect the wildlife and local residents in those areas.

The challenge will aim to address the important issue of diffuse coastal pollution on our coastlines and look at sustainable solutions of how we can improve water quality, but also improve efficiencies, profitability and sustainability from agriculture to the water and sewage infrastructure, as well as improving beach cleanliness and wildlife conservation as a direct result of pollution from humans and animals.

Visit the Diffuse Coastal Pollution Challenge at to find out more information.

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Posted On: 21/01/2022

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