Who can participate in the #MCD project? Anybody with an iOS smartphone, including:

CITIZEN SCIENTISTS – elementary school through college students, church groups, non-profits groups

PROFESSIONAL SCIENTISTS – botanists, wildlife biologists, marine biologists, foresters, park rangers, archaeologists, surveyors

OUTDOORSMEN/WOMEN – marine and freshwater fisherman, hunters, hikers, rock climbers, paddle boarders, kayakers, surfers, equestrians, dog-walkers, kite-flyers

When can I participate? Any time you set foot outdoors to garden, walk, hike, jog, bicycle, surf, bird, walk the dog… you get the idea. An especially good time might be during special events like bio-blitzes or creek and beach clean-ups.

What does MCD mean? MCD is an acronym for ‘must come down’, which derives from the proverb “What goes up, must come down,” a saying thought to have originated around the 1870s in reference to Newton’s second law of motion.

Why the number 1,400? In the Roman numerical system, the symbols M-C-D represent the value 1,400 (C = 100, D = 500, M = 1,000).

Is the number 1,400 important? Not in itself – rather, the number 1,400 is an arbitrary number chosen for convenience as a preliminary goal or finish line to demonstrate the impact balloons have on the planet.

Why is the #MCD project important? At present, there appears to be little empirical data on the numbers of balloons that end up as debris. By recording the quantity, type (latex vs mylar/foil), geo-referenced location, and theme (i.e. graduation, Valentine’s Day, birthday) of balloons at their end of their lives, we can begin a meaningful dialogue about the consequences of balloon releases based on hard facts.