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The Marine Debris Monitoring Toolkit for Educators is Now Available!

Thu, 2017-08-24 11:00
The Marine Debris Monitoring Toolkit for Educators is Now Available! Posted Thu, 08/24/2017 - 14:00 Cover of the Marine Debris Monitoring Toolkit for Educators.

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.

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The Monitoring “Get Started Toolbox” is One Year Old!

Thu, 2017-06-01 08:00
The Monitoring “Get Started Toolbox” is One Year Old! krista.e.stegemann Thu, 06/01/2017 - 11:00 Surveyors record GPS locations on an MDMAP datasheet during a shoreline survey on a beach.

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.

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The United States of Trash: A Quantitative Analysis of Marine Debris on U.S. Beaches and Waterways

Mon, 2017-01-09 09:30
The United States of Trash: A Quantitative Analysis of Marine Debris on U.S. Beaches and Waterways krista.e.stegemann Mon, 01/09/2017 - 12:30 People monitoring a beach.

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. 

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Marine Debris Tracker: Fight Marine Debris with Your Phone!

Thu, 2016-08-11 09:54
Marine Debris Tracker: Fight Marine Debris with Your Phone! krista.e.stegemann Thu, 08/11/2016 - 12:54 Marine Debris Tracker App icon.

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!

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Surveypalooza: Marine Debris Monitoring on the West Coast

Tue, 2016-08-09 08:30
Surveypalooza: Marine Debris Monitoring on the West Coast krista.e.stegemann Tue, 08/09/2016 - 11:30 NOAA MDP Chief Scientist Amy Uhrin, NOAA MDP California Regional Coordinator Sherry Lippiatt, and CSIRO's Denise Hardesty discuss monitoring on Third Beach, WA.

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. 

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