One of the best things about citizen science is the opportunity to get involved with your local community while making a difference on a broad scale. There are so many impactful projects you can take part in as a citizen scientist, whether you are looking for a long-term commitment to keep a local shoreline clean or want to make a positive impact when doing things you love. Check out these ways to get started.Tags Citizen Science education MDMAP monitoring
Spring is here! As the temperatures increase and weather improves, many of us are drawn to the outdoors. But what if your trip to the beach could be more than just an enjoyable day? What if you could do scientific research at the same time as a citizen scientist? Opportunities for the public most often come in the form of data collection, but they can also include providing input on questions to investigate, participating in study design, or interpreting and sharing results. Several projects funded through the NOAA Marine Debris Program have tapped into this community resource as well, and committed stewards around the country have contributed invaluable data to monitoring and research projects that support our vision of a sea free of debris.Tags Citizen Science education microplastics MDMAP monitoring
Put on your flip-flops and let’s head to the beach! This week we are celebrating Clean Beaches Week and all of the great work our Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP) participants are doing.Tags MDMAP monitoring shoreline monitoring Pacific Northwest
Since beginning in 2012, the NOAA Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP) has brought forth invaluable data, which continues to increase our shared knowledge of marine debris. Partners from around the world have contributed to this dataset by conducting 4,421 surveys at 335 monitoring sites in nine countries. The NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) coordinates these efforts, which would not be possible without the dedication of MDMAP partners who lead the charge in collecting data through their passion for the ocean. Both new and experienced MDMAP partner organizations and volunteers contribute time, energy, and resources to expand our understanding of this global issue.Tags shoreline monitoring monitoring MDMAP
Marine debris is unfortunately an all too frequent sight on our coastlines. A common misconception is that all shoreline debris was left behind by beachgoers. In fact, debris makes its was to the beach from many different sources, including the sea, stormwater runnoff, wind, and nearby river or stream outlets. If you spend time exploring shorelines in different regions, you may notice that the types and amounts of debris are different from place to place (and constantly changing!).Tags monitoring shoreline monitoring MDMAP
We’re spending March talking all about marine debris and its types, sources, impacts, and solutions. Tune in throughout the month to learn more about this important topic and how we can all be part of the effort to make our lives and our ocean #DebrisFree.
How big is the marine debris problem? How has it changed over time? What types of debris are most common in my region? These are all important questions to ask when tackling the marine debris issue and to get the answers, we turn to marine debris monitoring.Tags #DebrisFree monitoring
We are proud to announce the release of the Marine Debris Monitoring Toolkit for Educators, created through a collaborative effort between the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) and the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. This Toolkit translates the MDP’s Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project, a robust citizen science initiative, for classroom use.
The Marine Debris Monitoring Toolkit for Educators is available for free download on the NOAA Marine Debris Program website.Tags monitoring education
One year ago today, the NOAA Marine Debris Program announced the launch of the “Get Started Toolbox” for our Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP)! Since then, the Toolbox has been visited thousands of times for use as a resource by citizen science volunteers across the country. The Toolbox provides tutorials that cover the basics of the MDMAP, a collection of protocol documents and user guides, data analysis tools, a searchable photo gallery of marine debris items, answers to frequently asked questions, and even a quiz to test your MDMAP knowledge.Tags monitoring
This week marks “Research Week” on our blog and we will be highlighting marine debris research projects throughout the week! Research is an important part of addressing marine debris, as we can only effectively address it by understanding the problem the best we can.
By: George H. Leonard, PhD, Guest Blogger and Chief Scientist for the Ocean Conservancy
Have you ever wondered how much trash is on U.S. beaches? So have we! At Ocean Conservancy, we have spearheaded the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) for over 30 years and have collected data on the materials that are cleaned up each year. However, we haven’t done a rigorous, quantitative analysis of those data to provide a baseline by which to understand changes over time and spatial differences in marine debris across the U.S. The NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) has similarly monitored marine debris at a number of sites around the country, but also has not yet tried to rigorously evaluate what all the data mean. So, we have both teamed up with scientists Drs. Chris Wilcox and Denise Hardesty at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia to bring the power of statistics to the problem.Tags research monitoring
Interested in getting involved in the fight against marine debris but not sure how? Consider downloading the Marine Debris Tracker app and fight debris with your phone!
Marine debris is one of the most pervasive global threats to the health of our ocean. Monitoring where marine debris is found provides important information that can be used to track the progress of prevention efforts, add value to beach cleanups, and inform solutions. The Marine Debris Tracker provides a unique opportunity for you to get involved in collecting marine debris data in your community by allowing users to easily report debris sightings at any time. The Tracker is completely mobile and data can be entered anywhere, even without mobile service! As less of a time-commitment than the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP), the Tracker app is a great way to get involved without getting in over your head!Tags monitoring
By: Sherry Lippiatt, California Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program
On July 15th, an intrepid group of shoreline survey enthusiasts departed Seattle for nearly a week on the road. The mission: to spend a full six days surveying West Coast beaches for marine debris. The goal of this “surveypalooza” was to compare shoreline survey methodologies developed by the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP; for the Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project, or “MDMAP”) and the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). All told, our team of eight (including staff from the MDP, CSIRO, and the Ocean Conservancy) completed 26 individual monitoring surveys at 16 shoreline sites located approximately every 100 km along the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California.
Monitoring shorelines for marine debris can help answer some important questions, such as: how big is the marine debris problem, and how is it changing over time? Or, what types of debris are most common in a region? There are a lot of questions that drive monitoring efforts, but developing a standardized monitoring protocol is not so straightforward.Tags monitoring