An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Public's help solicited in locating marine debris hot spots

News Image

A new map funded by a Tampa Bay Estuary Program Mini-Grant is designed to use crowdsourced data to help determine what areas around Tampa Bay have the highest concentrations of marine debris. The tides and currents can carry debris from the land and deposit it anywhere along shore, but frequently it collects in specific locations. The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission created the interactive map to get information from the public about where they commonly find trash accumulating, so that cleanup organizations can focus on these spots and allocate more resources to keeping them clean!

Users can visit the map to see details about high-trash areas already identified: type of debris, estimated quantity (# of pieces), weight of the items (lbs.), and photos of the area. Using the map's tools, they can add their own information to these pre-identified spots or add new locations where they see garbage collecting.

Because many areas are not be accessible by car, information from boaters, kayakers, and paddle-boarders is especially valuable. If you have any difficulty using the new map or need help to add information, please email Please include any information that you would like to share and attach images you have of the site.

Tampa Bay Mini-Grants are funded by sales of TBEP's "tarpon tag". To help support projects, like this, get a Tampa Bay Estuary license plate for your vehicle!