Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project
Shoreline Monitoring.
Shoreline Monitoring

How big is the marine debris problem, and how is it changing over time? Which debris types are most common? In order to answer these questions for the marine debris community, the NOAA Marine Debris Program has implemented the Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MD-MAP), an initiative to collect baseline data and record of the amount and types of debris in the environment. Through regular monitoring, we can track the progress of existing marine debris prevention efforts and identify targets for mitigation.

NOAA Surveys

Interested in getting involved? Review our standard protocols for shoreline marine debris surveys. The NOAA methods focus on the abundance of debris according to material type. Our datasheet and database are adaptable for locally-relevant debris types while facilitating data analysis on a national scale. We’re most interested in long-term datasets, so plan to implement surveys at a set shoreline site on a regular basis.


We have developed an online database to house data and photos from groups conducting NOAA shoreline surveys on a regular basis. The MD-MAP database exports survey data in a format that facilitates data analysis. For access to the database, send us an email at

Project Partners

The NOAA MDP relies on a great network of dedicated volunteers to implement the MD-MAP. Many thanks to our partners in NOAA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Surfrider chapters, the State of California, Oregon State University, SOLVE, Ocean Conservancy, Heal the Bay, Save Our Shores, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Redfish Rocks Community Team, 4H Surf Club, Sea Turtle Restoration Project, Humboldt State Marine Debris Program, Beach Angels, Hawppon, Pacific Whale Foundation, American Reef, District of Ucluetet, Coastal Footprint, and British Columbia.