Marine Program

It was very educational and fun to be one of
PITCH-IN CANADA's trained marine "garbologists" in
The National Marine Debris Surveillance Program!

The National Marine Debris Surveillance Program (NMDSP), coordinated by PITCH-IN CANADA in cooperation with Environment Canada's Marine Environment Division, has now come to an end.

The five year research program, completed in 2002, has provided detailed data on the problem of marine debris by studying what  washes up on the beach. The research methodology adopted by PITCH-IN CANADA was modified for our country's conditions and was based on a research model in use in Europe and the United Kingdom.

The Canadian data will be a valuable contribution to the international database currently being assembled which will be used by national and international government and non-government agencies to find practical solutions to this serious but relatively unknown environmental problem.

The amount of marine debris worldwide is increasing due to increasing commercial and recreation maritime usage and the proliferation of non-biodegradable, disposable products. Marine debris is a hazard to small craft and a significant threat to all marine inhabitants, from shrimps to whales, due to entrapment and/or ingestion.

PITCH-IN CANADA's researchers conducted a minimum of two, maximum of four, surveys a year on the same, pre-selected, beach, following a statistically valid research methodology. Volunteer researchers were trained by PITCH-IN CANADA and provided with the required research materials. Each survey took two to four hours to complete, and was conducted by individuals, pairs, or groups of adults or youth such as senior high school students or Scouting/Guiding groups working under the direction of a trained adult. The program involved dedicated beachcombers, beachwalkers, science/environmental studies students, environmentally concerned youth groups and others concerned about the problems of marine debris.


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