Photo by NASA on Unsplash


Satellites are key to
monitoring our oceans

Oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface, making much of it remote and difficult to monitor. Satellite imagery provides an ideal tool for tracking human activity that otherwise would remain hidden from view. The growing number of new satellites launched regularly means we are rapidly moving towards monitoring change in near real-time and covering all of the world’s oceans everyday.

Our oceans work includes documenting the extent of oil spills (such as revealing the true size of the BP/Deepwater Horizon disaster), tracking global fishing activity (with our partner Global Fishing Watch, launched by SkyTruth in conjunction with Google and Oceana), and now, applying artificial intelligence techniques such as machine learning to detect vessel pollution at sea from bilge dumping.

Satellites are key to monitoring our oceans

Ocean issues and threats

While many of our hard-won environmental protections are at risk right now, I’m glad to see the Gulf Monitoring Consortium (and, specifically, SkyTruth) helping our country take some steps forward in monitoring pollution.

Our latest work on oceans