Knight News Challenge: iWitness Pollution Map

We have submitted a proposal to the Knight News Challenge Tumblr site to fund a grassroots marketing campaign for our iWitness Pollution Map.  This Challenge is focused on networks and submissions will be judged in part on our ability to get our networks to love, comment and discuss our proposal on their tumblr site.

Please read, love and discuss the LABB proposal at this link TODAY!!!  It will only take you a moment AND your simple click of the heart button will help us fund much needed advertising (billboards) for the map.  Please send to your networks – students, colleagues, friends, listserves – to solicit their love for this program as well!
Please repost on your blogs too!!!

**Thanks to all who have already liked and loved our submission to the Knight News Challenge.  It has come to our attention that YOU MUST LOG IN TO TUMBLR in order for your like to count.  That means if you do not already have a TUMBLR account, you must create one.  Apologies for the hassle, but we still really need your support.  So create one more account and password for this very worthy project.  Thank you thank you thank you.**

Thank you in advance for any precious time you take out of your day to support our work.

Here is a preview of our submission:

iWitness Pollution Map

1. What do you propose to do? [20 words]

Implement a grassroots marketing campaign for our iWitness Pollution Map, a crowd-sourcing tool launched during the 2010 BP Oil Disaster, to report pollution and associated health impacts.

2. Is anyone doing something like this now and how is your project different? [30 words]

The iWitness Pollution Map is the first use of crisis mapping for a U.S. humanitarian disaster.   Our work empowers impacted communities with tools that attract media attention and instigate enforcement action against polluters.

3. Describe the network with which you intend to build or work. [50 words]

To market the map we build on our existing networks:  1) Fenceline Neighbors Network of community groups adjacent to hazardous industry across Louisiana, 3) Responders like the U.S. EPA, U.S. Coast Guard, 4) 12 years of local, regional, national media contacts, 5) Other collaborative partnerships with like-minded organizations including SkyTruth.

4. Why will it work? [100 words]

It will work because we have been doing this work on the ground in collaboration with communities for the last 12 years.  It will work because we had the largest presence (majority volunteers) on the ground of any NGO responding to the BP disaster.  It will work because we are head of the Community Outreach subcommittee for the US Coast Guard’s Oil and Hazardous Substance Contingency Planning Committee.  It will work because we are already funneling reports on the map straight to the media as well as local, state and federal enforcement and emergency response officials and getting results.

5. Who is working on it? [100 words]

Louisiana Bucket Brigade staff, 1500+ dues paying members and volunteer base creatively engage impacted communities.

LABB’s Fenceline Neighbors Network are taking air samples and sending in reports documenting the pollution problems in their neighborhoods.

Tulane’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy provides server space and SkyTruth provides an RSS feed of National Response Center reports for the map.

US Coast Guard and US EPA use the map to locate hot spots of pollution and potential environmental crimes.

The team leader, LABB Program Manager Anna Hrybyk, has expertise from around the world in community based disaster preparedness, including the 2004 Asian Tsunami.

6. What part of the project have you already built? [100 words]

Since 2010, the iWitness Pollution Map has been in use with over 5,000 reports currently posted.  The map crowd sources chemical accidents, impacts from the BP Oil Spill and National Response Center reports.  We already have partnerships with community groups in 10 parishes through our Fenceline Neighbors Network.  We already have solid working relationships with EPA and Coast Guard enforcement officials who have called our work “sophisticated advocacy.” We need a grassroots marketing campaign so that we can reach out to areas where we do not currently have a network.  The tool is in place, the responders are paying attention and now we need more residents to report.

7. How would you sustain the project after the funding expires? [50 words]

We have sustained the map since 2010 and need support to jumpstart a cutting edge, artistic, grassroots marketing campaign. An injection of capital from Knight would provide solid evidence to other funders of the map’s efficacy. Marketing for the map would be integrated into all grant proposals.

Requested amount from Knight News Challenge: $400,000
Expected amount of time required to complete project: 2 years
Total Project Cost: $400,000

Name: iWitness Pollution Map
Organization: Louisiana Bucket Brigade
Country: United States
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