If an item has unique identifiers and may be traceable to an individual or group, please take photos, report it to a local land manager (e.g., a Park Ranger), and report the item to DisasterDebris@noaa.gov (note that the item was found during a monitoring survey). Use your best judgment to determine what may or may not be valuable. Remember that debris from abroad washes up on our shores all the time.
If you encounter hazardous items such as oil or chemical drums, contact your local authorities (a 911 call), state environmental health agency, and the National Response Center (1-800-424-8802). Provide as much information as possible so the authorities can determine how to respond.
Knowing the width of the shoreline allows for the calculation of debris concentrations in units of number of items per square meter of shoreline. Because the width will vary depending on tidal stage and time of year, and at different points within the shoreline site, it is important to measure the width at each transect.
Contact your local authorities (a 911 call), state environmental health agency, and the US Coast Guard Pacific Area Command ((510)437-3701) or Atlantic Area Command ((757)398-6700). Provide as much information as possible so the authorities can determine how to respond.
If you suspect that you may have found debris with invasive species, please take clear photos of the item, attached organism, and any identifying marks on the object. Remove the item from the water or shoreline and place it on dry land well above the high tide line. Please report your observation to the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force by visiting this website to complete a form.