The majority of plastic marine debris originates from the land and storm drains are one common entry point. Plastic trash easily slips through the drain and ends up in our waterways. A 2016 - 2020 collaborative research project helped develop an app - Adopt-A-Drain - that is meant to help researchers quantify the amount of plastics entering storm drains and help reduce the overall amount of plastic trash polluting our oceans and endangering wildlife.
About this resource
This new app enables crowd-source data collection on potential marine debris entering waterways via storm drains. The app can be used on computers or mobile devices by students and citizens. There are three easy steps to get started: (1) Find & adopt a drain; (2) Pick up trash around the drain; and (3) Record & submit your data for recognition and scientific research.
Project partners developed a complementary Water Quality Curriculum to support use of the app within high school classes. By using plastics as a model, students can see how storm water transports waste into waterways. The curriculum and app allow students collect data, analyze their results and then create ways to share their findings. These slides can help teachers introduce the app to their students. In summer of 2020, more than 50 high school teachers were trained in the use of these educational resources.
To learn more, visit the Duke University Marine Lab Community Science Initiative.