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 (MDP) has implemented the Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP), an initiative to compile a record of the amount and types of debris in the environment. Through regular monitoring, we can track the progress of existing marine debris prevention initiatives and identify targets for future mitigation efforts.

The MDMAP is the MDP’s flagship citizen science initiative that engages partner organizations and volunteers across the nation in completing shoreline marine debris surveys. Check out our “Get Started Toolbox” for resources for current and new MDMAP participants, or view a map of existing monitoring sites at

The Marine Debris Tracker Application is another great way to report sightings of marine debris items on land or at sea, right from your phone. Visit to learn more.

Looking for standardized monitoring protocols? Our Shoreline Monitoring Field Guide and Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Technical Memo (documents linked under the “Resources-Downloads” section to the right) provide shoreline and surface water monitoring techniques and considerations for monitoring other parts of the marine environment.

The MDP extends a huge thank-you to the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, and many other dedicated partners and volunteers that implement the MDMAP.