2 Minutes Can Make a Difference!

Marine debris has been a growing problem for many years along the beaches of Texas, causing harm to wildlife and to people daily. But where does it come from? Where does it go? How BIG of a problem is it anyway?

Step 1:

Take just TWO minutes to count all the plastic bottles you can see from one spot

Step 2:

Pick up all the trash you can see and count the actual number of bottles

Step 3:

Report! Send us your count by sight and the actual number cleaned up





This project gives every Texan the opportunity to participate!


We are recruiting volunteers from non-profit organizations, scout groups, schools, clubs, and families to help us in reporting trash in and around area waterways.

Ready to try?

Counting bottles on Brays Bayou

Learn how to survey

Find a place to count

Report your data

Houston Advanced Research Center and Black Cat GIS and Biological Services have partnered up to assess of marine debris in the Galveston Bay watershed thanks to a generous grant from the Garver Black Hilyard Family Foundation.


The project consists of comparing and refining techniques to assess marine debris to get estimates on the amount of plastic pollution along Texas beaches, bayous, and waterways.

Our Goals:

  • Gather information on marine debris in 100 foot long shoreline transects.

    • Document amounts and types of consumer products

    • Gather data on where items are deposited on waterways (shorelines or higher on banks/ dunes)

  • Test methods to better estimate trash collected during cleanups 

    • Gather information on cleanups related to number of bags, volume of trash, weight of trash, individual item counts, etc.

  • Collect data on total trash removed to develop a standardized report metric- allowing for better effort comparisons across years and sites.

  • Test a plastic bottle count method

    • Count as many bottles observer can see along a set shoreline distance.

    • Compare data with bagged trash collected to discover correlations.


Know a location we should check out?

Possible sites need to have:


  1. Easy access/ parking for volunteers (like a public park)

  2. Non-steep slopes with easy to walk terrain

  3. Ability to drive nearby for loading and transport of bags

  4. Good contact for garbage removal post- event OR the ability for volunteers to take bagged trash away for proper disposal

Recording trash on Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

Survey anywhere you find water!

For Groups

For Families & Individuals

For Educators


This webpage was set up to communicate and share our progress as we initiate, develop and begin acting on the Greater Houston-Galveston Trash-Based Aquatic

Action Plan. Please note the purpose of this action plan is to serve as a guidance document or a central point of reference for improved collaboration and coordination among the multitude of stakeholders across the greater Houston-Galveston region, to avoid duplication and optimize the efficiency and efficacy of efforts.

The document is not intended to be regulatory or specifically binding on actions or timeframes.