Citizen Science ProjectOcean Travelers


The Ocean Travelers project engages researchers and volunteers from around the world. We have three driving questions:

  1. How much of the marine litter on beaches has arrived with marine currents?
  2. What kinds of organisms are being transported on floating marine litter?
  3. How does the amount of litter with organisms vary on beaches around the world?

Because we can't travel to beaches all over the world (although that would be awesome!), we are working with volunteers to collect and share data from their regions. Teams will visit their local beaches and collect pieces of marine litter. They'll determine if it is likely that the piece of litter is local or if it came from another location. They'll also take photos of the marine litter and any organisms that might be growing on it.

Volunteers help their communities by removing trash from beaches and helping us better understand patterns in marine litter washing up on beaches and potential invasive species that it might be carrying. By working together, we can better understand and prevent the negative impacts of marine litter and invasive epibionts.

Interested in the methods we're using? Take a look at the resources below to learn more.

This guide provides an overview of the sampling methods to prepare participants for the beach sampling. Read through this document prior to conducting the beach sampling, as well as bring it on the day of sampling to provide instructions to conduct the sampling.

Click here to download the Beach Sampling Field Guide

This document includes print materials necessary for completing the beach sampling. This document should be printed off and brought to the beach on the day of sampling.

Click here to download the Beach Sampling Print Materials