ICC logo


Coastweeks, or the International Coastal Cleanup is a nationwide effort coordinated by The Ocean Conservancy and for the past 30 years, they have inspired millions of people to assist with the cause for healthier seas. Each year, The Ocean Conservancy mobilizes communities to help organize and participate in beach cleanups whilst recording/documenting data such as what kinds of trash they pick up and how much. You can join the effort to reduce marine debris from our coasts to help keep our islands clean! Contact us today to see hw you can help! 

Our team has worked to adapt the NOAA Marine Debris Activity Book to reinforce concepts and cleanups specific to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Feel free to click the "Download" button below to download the USVI Marine Debris Activity book and learn more about this issue and how we can work together to prevent marine debris! 

USVI Marine Debris Activity Book  button


Ninety percent (90%) of most marine debris comes from land-based sources; this includes common consumer goods such as plastic utensils, beverage bottles (plastic and glass), as well as plastic straws. It is up to us to make a difference and keep our USVI coastlines free from marine debris. One way you can help is by reducing your usage of common marine debris items. Don't worry if you can only check one box today; making the commitment to reduce your usage of at least 1 common marine debris item can be the spark that inspires others to also do their part at reducing marine debris! Take the pledge by clicking the "I Pledge" icon below. 

USVI Marine Debris Pledge Coki straws


Each cleanup is led by a site captain who will provide data sheets to volunteers to assist with the recording of the types, quantity, and weight of debris. To familiarize with yourself with the data form, you can view/print the Coastweeks data form or click on the data sheet below. At each cleanup, supplies should be provided to include items such as trash bags, buckets, pencils, gloves, and water. Most cleanups start promptly at 9:00 AM, so volunteers should aim to arrive at the specified time. Site captains are encouraged to make their cleanups as close to zero-waste as possible; here are some suggestions:

  • Instead of using garbage bags, use 5-gallon buckets.
  • Instead of using disposable gloves, use reusable gloves. If you can't find reusable gloves, opt for providing volunteers with 1 glove for their dominant hand.
  • Instead of providing bottled water, use a 5-gallon jug and fill with water. Ask volunteers to bring a reusable cup or bottle. 
  • If snacks or other food is to be provided, avoid pre-packaged food and opt for fruits instead. 
  • The goal is to not create more trash during the cleanup. 

While we are navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic, please review the above infographic to familiarize yourself with the necessary steps and procedures recommended by The Ocean Conservancy to safely conduct your cleanups.

Steps for Safety

Below is the Coastweeks data card that are used during our cleanups. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the card so that you can hit the ground running on the day of the cleanup. You can also click the data card to download it as well as visit or call your nearest VIMAS office to pick up data cards. 

front back


data collection

Removal of debris is important to maintaining the vitality and aesthetic quality of our ecosystems. Collecting data during cleanups is an important process that ensures you capture vital information such as the types, quantities, and weight of debris removed. This data is then used by natural resource managers and legislators to support management policies and new legislation aimed at addressing the negative impacts of marine debris/litter. Without this data, removal of the debris on its own will not prevent and reduce debris from ending up on our coastlines. Here are some strategies that you can use to make data collection an easy integration into your next cleanup:

  • Work in pairs (practicing safe social distancing guidelines). Don't try to do it all alone; have one person in a group hold the garbage bag or bucket, another person to record the data, and another to place items into the receptacle.  
  • Data entry online. You can enter your data online using this Coastweeks Data Entry Form
  • Go mobile! Download the Clean Swell smart phone app so that you collect data from your mobile device. 
    Clean Swell App


Click on any of the following links to view the data collected for that specific year. This data is great for teachers who want to have access to data sets, teach graphing skills to their students, and observe trends between years of data collection.

- Contact Us-   new

Office Phone: St. Thomas (340) 693-1672 / St. Croix (340) 692-4046
E-mail: St. Thomas (howard.forbes@live.uvi.edu) / St. Croix (mtaylor@uvi.edu)
Website: http://vimas.uvi.edu
Facebook Logo icon Find us on Facebook
instagram logo icon 
Find us on Instagram

Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service
Center for Marine and Environmental Studies
University of the Virgin Islands

St. Thomas                                                St. Croix
#2 John Brewers Bay                                 RR#1, 10,000 Kingshill
St. Thomas, USVI 00802                           St. Croix, USVI 00850-9781

Return to home page