NUS‒NParks Marine Debris Monitoring Programme

Contributing to the national baseline data on marine debris and celebrating the International Year of the Reef (IYOR) 2018

The 2017–2019 NUS–NParks Marine Debris Monitoring Programme is a citizen science programme that is initiated in November 2017 to celebrate the International Year of the Reef (IYOR) 2018 as part of Friends of Marine Park. It engages volunteers, schools, and organizations with an interest to survey and collect data on marine debris found on Singapore’s beaches. Data on both macro-debris (>5 mm) and microplastics (1 – 5 mm) will be collected from 20 quadrats (2.5 m by 2.5 m) at six sites every two months (see map below). These data collected would help form the national baseline of marine debris for Singapore which would help inform decision-making and policy development.

We are looking for passionate and dedicated individuals/schools/organisations who are keen to contribute more than just a cleanup.

(Subscription has closed) For individuals age 15 and above who are interested in participating in the data collection exercises, sign up to the mailing list using this form ( receive updates of monthly sampling events or register for upcoming events below.

(Registration closed) For schools / organisation, sign up using this form ( for the programme with 20‒40 participants and you will be guided through the data collection exercise. A research sampling kit and cleanup supplies could be loaned as required.

More about the programme

Why research marine debris?
Marine debris is a great cause of concern due to its presence in all our oceans and adverse impact on the marine environment and wildlife.  This quantitative sampling will supplement more than 10 years of annual data on marine debris from the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore and provide data on temporal and seasonal variations of macro-debris and microplastics in Singapore.

Why sample from quadrats?
The locations of the 20 quadrats were randomly selected and then fixed to give a better representation of the debris profile of each beach. By returning to the same quadrats each month, we would be able to determine the accumulation rate of marine debris and find out if any temporal trend exists.

Where are the sampling locations?

Locations of marine debris monitoring programme

To find out what the programme entails, please view the poster below.


Join us in the upcoming sampling events!
No prior experience is required, just your interest! Briefing and sampling supplies would be provided. Please click on the respective link below to register.

(Upcoming sessions will be posted here. To receive notifications, sign up to the mailing list!)

Thank you for caring for the environment!

Joleen Chan
Research Assistant
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore