California Trash Monitoring Methods Project
Download the Reports...
Thanks to the support of the Ocean Protection Council and the State Water Resources Control Board, the Trash Monitoring Playbook and the Field Testing Report are now released for your use. We welcome you to peruse these companion documents and share them with others.
The Playbook is intended as a reference for trash monitoring practitioners and agency staff interested in learning more about the considerations for selecting a suitable trash monitoring program, whereas the Field Testing Report is a resource for researchers and other technically minded people who wish to dive more deeply into the findings of our study.
Are you interested in trash monitoring, drones, artificial intelligence, or all of the above? Take a look at the Playbook and Field Testing Report and let us know what you think: email@example.com. You can also download machine learning data and the Survey 123 application information from the SFEI website.
Trash Monitoring Playbook Webinar
Oracle recently highlighted our partnership that leveraged cloud computing to identify trash in drone-based imagery.
Team members appeared on Esri's Geography of Resilience panel and discussed trash prevalence as a secondary effect of climate change.
Our story was featured on KTVU on January 15, 2020, highlighting some of its innovations. Check us out!
Learn about the project's activities on our newsletter page.
In 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) adopted an Amendment to the Ocean Waters of California (Ocean Plan) to Control Trash and Part 1 Trash Provision of the Water Quality Control Plan for Inland Surface Waters, Enclosed Bays, and Estuaries (ISWEBE Plan). Together these are referred to as the Trash Amendments. The Trash Amendments prohibit discharge of trash larger than 5 millimeters to state waters from stormwater systems. The Ocean Protection Council (OPC) sent a letter to the Water Board supporting adoption of the Trash Amendments in 2015. The letter expressed the OPC’s interest in the use of scientific measures to track and verify program effectiveness. Currently there is no agreed-upon scientific method to monitor for trash in water and receiving stormwater channels. This makes assessing permittees’ compliance and general progress on reducing trash in state waters difficult. This project would provide the research needed to develop scientific measures to monitor trash.
Why is this project needed?
New trash-related programs are emerging, regional in scale. The methods used vary broadly, with a lack of exchangeable information among various programs, partners, regulators, and the public. A new statewide library of standard methods can:
broaden the vision for monitoring trash
foster greater consistency among approaches
promote free, meaningful exchange of data & information
Identify opportunities for innovation