This data set is a subset of Marine Litter Watch’s data from January 1st 2015- December 21st 2018.It was compiled to help answer the Earth Challenge 2020 research question, “What is the Extent of Plastic Pollution?”
Observed Property: Marine litter debris, or Litter items found on beaches (bigger than 2.5 cm) to support EU member states in monitoring (MSFD - Marine Strategy Framework Directive).
Citizen Science Process: Marine LitterWatch (MLW) data is collected through beach clean-ups and other monitoring events. Data of litter collected is reported through an App and stored in a public database hosted by the European Environment Agency (EEA). This is made available as soon as it enters the European Environment Agency database, where quality control is assured by responsible community members, who are in charge of its accuracy.
Earth Challenge 2020 Process: This data set contains the results of additional data cleaning and standardization:
1) A CSIRO - inspired schema for classifying plastic pollution was applied to Marine Litter Watch's data, with help from the European Environmental Agency.
2) The geocoding process removed missing coordinates, errant coordinates, and likely also removed some correct coordinates from the collection of source data. A 3500-meter buffer was applied to each event to account for low tides, sandbars, and the detailed nature of coastal boundaries to increase the likelihood that a given event was assigned to a country.
3) The geocoded data set was transformed into the Earth Challenge 2020 Implementation of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)’s SensorThings API standard.
Please access the meta-data dictionary for this data set here.
Related Data and Applications
Marine LitterWatch is one of three datasets included in a pilot project to create a global baseline for plastic pollution. To see the full data set please click here.