Marine Debris Database

Cleanup Data

Protocol Description
The survey should not take more than 20 minutes, and with practice it may take 15 minutes or less to complete. The team begins the survey at one end of the selected reach. One team member (the “streambank person”) begins walking along the bank (where possible), looking for any trash on the stream (or shore) bank, or above the high water line, and tallies any trash items found on the trash assessment sheet. The other person (the “streambed person”) walks along the stream bed, or in the water at shorelines, and shouts out any trash items found in the water body for the person on land to tally on the trash assessment sheet. The person tallying the trash notes on the sheet whether the trash was found in the stream and below the high water line, or above the high water line (i.e., tally lines for below high water line (|), and tally dots or circles (•) for above the high water line). This will help for assigning scores for the worksheet. A pole or similar lifting tool should be used to help look under bushes, logs, and other plant growth to see if trash has accumulated underneath. The ground or substrate should be carefully inspected to ensure that small items such as cigarette butts and pieces of broken glass or Styrofoam are being included. Because this is a rapid assessment, the tally is not exact, but it is important not to miss items that can affect human health, because such items can strongly affect the total score.
Year Started
Created By
Santa Barbara Channel Keepers


Label Unit Description Internal Field
Accumulation of Trash Points Trash_items_scores_trash_accumulation
Actual # of Trash Items Found Count Trash_items_scores_number_trash_items
Biodegradable Count Biodegradable Biodegradable
Biohazard Count Biohazard
Construction Debris Count Construction_debris
County Text REQUIRED for site - County where event took place County
Date/Time Date REQUIRED for sites, date of event Cleanup_date_start
Fabric and Cloth Count Clothing_towels_shoes
Glass Pieces Count Glass_pieces
Grade Text Grade
Illegal Dumping and Littering Points Trash_items_scores_illegal_dumping
Large Count Large_trash_items
Latitude decimal degrees Decimal degrees of latitude coordinate of the event location Latitude
Level of Trash Points Trash_items_scores_level_trash
Longitude decimal degrees Decimal degrees of longitude coordinate of the event location Longitude
Metal Object Count Metal_pieces
Miscellaneous Text Additional comments. May include position range and may note mult. pot entaglements Comments
Plastic Count Number of plastic pieces found during cleanup event Plastics
Site Name Text REQUIRED for sites - Name of event site. Cleanup_site_name
State Text REQUIRED for site - State where event took place State
Site Description (Station No.) Text Site_description
Threat to Aquatic Life Points Trash_items_scores_aquatic_life_threat
Threat to Human Health Points Trash_items_scores_human_health_threat
Total Score (%) percent None Total_Score_Percentage
Total Score (0-120) Points Total_Score_Value
Toxic Count Toxic
Waterbody/ Stream Text Address of the cleanup location Cleanup_address