First of all, we want to give a huge shout out to our volunteers who have been performing solo cleanups throughout the pandemic and keeping our local watersheds clean over the past year. It’s hard to believe our last cleanup at California Street in Ventura was in February of 2020. We miss your smiling faces. Previously, we were having debris information from solo cleanups submitted to us using the Ocean Conservancy’s Clean Swell mobile application; however, we are now making the switch to a mobile application called Marine Debris Tracker.

What’s awesome about Marine Debris Tracker is you can select the Surfrider Foundation US data card list and enter your trash data using Surfrider’s standardized trash categories. This makes it easy for us to submit the information to our national database, which we use to visualize trash trends across various regions. Surfrider uses this information to help support local ordinances and plastic bans that help to keep our ocean, waves, and beaches clean.

The first step is download the Marine Debris Tracker application to your mobile device. If you don’t have an account, take a minute and create one. The home screen will show recent trash trackings and let you choose an organization. Click the organization and choose Surfrider Foundation US. To start a session, select Continue Tracking for Surfrider Foundation US. See the image below. 

When you start tracking, try to remember to immediately go into settings and select Select Project. Search for “Ventura County” in the search bar and select this for your current project. See the image below for guidance.

If you have already started tracking a cleanup and forgot to select the Surfrider Foundation US organization, don’t worry! You can go back and add it mid-way through your cleanup. In Settings, you can select Change Organization and scroll down to the Surfrider Foundation US list.

Then head back to the main menu and start collecting data. Navigate the list or search for specific items as you find them.  As you click “Add” they will appear on your trash cleanup list.

When you’re finished tracking and ready to submit, select Collapse All and find the Cleanup Information section. Complete this general information about your trash cleanup. When you’re done, click continue at the bottom right.

We hope you’ll take the time to fill out the volunteer survey at the end. This provides valuable insights to Surfrider and assists us with uploading the data.