Monitoring and Assessment Project: Get Started Toolbox

The Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project, or MDMAP, is a citizen science initiative that engages NOAA partners and volunteers across the nation to survey and record the amount and types of marine debris on shorelines. Each passionate and dedicated partner in the MDMAP network selects a nearby shoreline monitoring site that they return to monthly to conduct surveys and submit meaningful data to NOAA’s MDMAP Database.

How big is the marine debris problem, and how is it changing over time? What types of debris are most common in your region? MDMAP data can help to answer these questions and can be used to guide marine debris policy development, education and outreach, and address important research questions.

This “Get Started Toolbox” contains many resources for current and new MDMAP partner organizations and volunteers. Want to learn more? Start with the tutorials below.

If you'd like to get your classroom involved in the MDMAP, check out the Marine Debris Monitoring Toolkit for Educators!

If the MDMAP sounds like too much of a commitment, we encourage you to download and use the Marine Debris Tracker App to easily report marine debris sightings at any time right from your smartphone!


Click to subscribe to the MDMAP Litter Letter Newsletter

Person viewing on-line tutorial.


Start by viewing our tutorial series to learn more about the MDMAP, what it takes to get involved, how to safely conduct shoreline surveys, and how to submit your data.

Monitors marking debris and taking notes.

Protocol Documents and Field Datasheets

Visit our collection of Protocol Documents and Field Datasheets for resources to help you complete a shoreline survey.

Marine debris assessment

Protocol Quiz

Have you reviewed the tutorials and protocol documents?
Test your MDMAP knowledge before enrolling!

Home page of Mdmap site


Sign up to get involved! Have you viewed the Tutorials and passed the Protocol Quiz?

Please register at the Database site Please review the tutorials
Take the Quiz.

Monitor measuring distance on the beach

Database User Guide

The MDMAP Database User Guide will help you navigate the MDMAP database at, where your data is submitted.