At International Coastal Cleanups throughout the world, you will see about one-third the volunteers carefully check off items against a list of categories or marine debris. All that data is collated by the end of the session with every three data cards consolidated into one until there remains only one summarising the site’s results. It’s a wonderful system that has reduced lots of work and delays. In Singapore we have posted data for mangroves online THE SAME DAY since 2001 and since 2002 for beaches.
It doesn’t happen by magic though! When the cleanup volunteers head home, Zone Captains return to the Raffles Museum – the ICCS headquarters – where photos are uploaded and data is processed to generate charts and total debris from around the country. Once all the data is in, this data is submitted to the Ocean Conservancy which publishes an annual report based on global data.
Photo by Kenneth Pinto; more photos in this flickr set.
We track the data coming in and ensure we get it all the same weekend. That way no one has any homework after the cleanup a can see their results the next day! Google Spreadheets comes in real handy with its live uploads and multiple user data entry. We have to do a good job to ensure the volunteer’s efforts are not in vain! And by making the data public, anyone can use it.
See the ICCS 2007 Status sheet