Amidst social distancing and shut downs, Baykeeper is seeking innovative ways to investigate polluters. Bad actors haven’t stopped polluting on account of the pandemic, and so that means our staff hasn’t stopped working either.
While our boat is still on the water, our volunteer skippers are having to conduct solo patrols without staff. So we’ve been looking for ways for our investigative team to conduct more virtual patrols of the Bay. Enter Baykeeper’s newest team member: Osprey, the drone. Ospreys are local birds known to hover as they hunt, and our Osprey will be doing the same as the drone searches for polluters.
We’ve worked with volunteer drone operators in the past to conduct aerial patrols of the Bay through our partners at Autonomous Imagery. But now, thanks to the generous donation of equipment by Autonomous Imagery co-founder Dan Koopman, our staff has much more flexibility to investigate hotline tips, scope out new developments, and keep an eye on known polluters.
Baykeeper's field investigator Cole Burchiel, who is a licensed drone operator, will oversee Osprey’s work. Osprey flew her first mission last week over Alameda, capturing detailed imagery of the future site of DePave Park.
Pictured, below: Osprey's view of the DePave Park site in Alameda.