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Beach trash survey aims to enlist help from citizen scientists

Litter at sea is becoming a massive problem worldwide… And the evidence is washing up on our beaches daily.

To combat the problem, the National Conservation Council is asking the public to get involved, as citizen scientists, to carry out a crowd-sourced beach plastics survey.

The procedure is relatively simple. Surveyors identify and categorise man-made items per square meter in a 20 meter long stretch of beach.

The data collected so far shows where a lot of our beach trash is coming from.

In the Carribbean, at least in Cayman, we’re seeing some evidence that we are getting plastic coming ashore that originates in Haiti, maybe the Dominican Republic, possibly Cuba as well. These are islands with huge populations compared to ours,” said National Conservation Council Chair Christine Rose-Smyth.

Data collected through the end of the month will be sent to scientists in Australia to help get a global picture of the marine litter problem.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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