Data Collection

Check out our EcoBlitz Protocol!

EcoBlitz Guidelines


  • Be safe.

  • Do not touch any wildlife.

  • When taking photographs, avoid including faces of students or adults.


  • Be safe

  • Avoid traffic hazards by watching for cars, bicycles, or others vehicles at all times.

  • Wear closed-toe shoes and suitable protective clothing.

  • Avoid handling potentially harmful items (eg. batteries, biohazards, sharps, heavy objects, etc.).

  • Use gloves or trash-grabbers when handling trash.

  • Dispose of trash you collect responsibly

  • When taking photographs, avoid including faces of students or adults.

The Process

Students will collect two sets of data in the same area for the same amount of time. You may wish to have them focus on wildlife first and then return to the same area to collect data about trash in another session. Or you can have students work in groups; some students focus on wildlife while others focus on trash.

Each group will need a phone with a camera. The iNaturalist and Marine Debris Tracker apps should be installed and the user should be logged in.

1. Students choose an area.

2. They observe wildlife in that area and log their observations and photos into iNaturalist.

3. Staying in the same area, students count and classify the trash they see. Use the EcoBlitz list on the Marine Debris Tracker app to log observations and photos. Count each individual piece of trash, even if they appear to come from the same source (for example, 5 pieces of broken glass counts as 5 pieces)