By: Sherry Lippiatt, California Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program
The NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) is proud to announce the launch of the new “Get Started Toolbox” for our Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP). The MDMAP is our flagship citizen science initiative that engages partner organizations and volunteers across the nation in completing shoreline marine debris surveys. The “Get Started Toolbox” is a great new resource for current and new MDMAP participants.
The “Get Started Toolbox” includes a tutorial series that covers 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. See for yourself and learn more about the MDMAP at marinedebris.noaa.gov/research/monitoring-toolbox.
The MDMAP was launched in 2012 and has seen increasing interest and participation ever since! We’re incredibly pleased and humbled by the dedication of our MDMAP participants that are out on their shorelines once a month, collecting data on the types and abundances of marine debris at set shoreline sites. Repeated, standardized shoreline surveys provide crucial data to help us better understand marine debris and how to address it, assess the impact of marine debris prevention efforts, and identify priority targets for future mitigation initiatives.