Development of Beach litter monitoring on the Latvian coastline: the citizen science PERSPECTIVE

Edmunds Cepuritis, Janis Ulme, Sintija Graudiņa- Bombiza


The research analyses the beach litter monitoring programme in Latvia and provides suggestions for its improvement seeking to provide necessary information for effective marine litter management on the Latvian coastline of the Baltic Sea. The beach litter monitoring programme has been enacted since 2012 by NGO “FEE Latvia” and current research has been focused on the situation assessment and particularly provides analyses on a number and distribution of the surveyed beaches, the frequency and timing of the monitoring, litter classification and counting methodology, as well as the possible programme development using the NGO work based on the citizen science approach. The results allow to elaborate several suggestions on how to improve the programme in order to provide lacking information in Latvia on the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework directive of European Union, and to advise local municipalities in their coastal waste management practices. The suggestions include the increasing number of monitoring sites, a prioritization of the EU Master list classification protocol and an increase of sites with higher frequency of monitoring (3 times per year). Moreover, in the conducted public survey, the beach visitors demonstrated good understanding of marine litter and highly prioritized the issue. The increased interest can add public participation to further development of this applied here citizen science approach.

KEYWORDS: Baltic Sea, beach litter, monitoring program, citizen science, coastal management.

JEL CODES: Q52, Q57, Q58.


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