When it comes to solving the problem of marine debris, most of us immediately think about solutions. We think about beach cleanups, using our own bag, and carrying a reusable water bottle. But how do we know which actions will work the best? That’s where monitoring comes in. By tracking the amount and type of debris we find on our shores, we can figure out if the steps we are taking to reduce debris are actually working. People just like you can help us collect the data we need as citizen scientists.
You can learn all about monitoring in the latest video in our Trash Talk series, Trash Counts. It follows a group of high school students as they monitor the beaches in their community for marine debris. Their data, as well as data from other citizen scientists and classrooms all around the world, can help us figure out the most effective ways stop debris from entering the ocean and Great Lakes.
To learn more about what we have found from our data so far, check out this report. If you want to take action too, check out the Marine Debris Monitoring Toolkit for Educators, or the Monitoring Toolbox.