NUS‒NParks Marine Debris Monitoring Programme

Contributing to the national baseline data on marine debris

The 2017–2019 NUS–NParks Marine Debris Monitoring Programme is a citizen science programme that is initiated in November 2017. 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) in nine sites every month. 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.

For individuals who are interested in participating in the data collection exercises, please sign up with this form to receive updates of monthly sampling events.

For schools / organisation, sign up with this form for the programme with 20‒60 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?Map of survey sites_plain_Nov 2017

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.

  1. Beach at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal on 25 Nov 2017 (Sat) 8:30am – 11:30am:
  2. Changi Beach, Carpark 6 on 29 Nov 2017 (Wed) 8:30am – 11:30am:
  3. East Coast Park Area C on 30 Nov 2017 (Thu) 8:30am – 11:30am:
  4. Coney Island, Beach A on 02 Dec 2017 (Sat) 3:00pm – 6:00pm:

Thank you for caring for the environment!

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