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Escaped Trash Assessment Protocol ETAP- (OW Trash Free Water Program)

The EPA Trash Free Waters Program began development of this trash assessment tool spurred by external stakeholder interest. The need from users was twofold: standardized methodologies for sampling and analysis of trash pollution and a more effective protocol to guide source reduction decisions. The ETAP tool is designed to support data gathering on site characteristics and provide valuable information about the context of trash in the environment. The protocol can be used in various water quality protection programs operated by EPA, states and tribal governments. The ETAP materials characterization will be compatible with data cards used by other groups (e.g., Ocean Conservancy, Marine Debris Tracker App, and Litterati) so that information about trash pollution can be linked to sustainable materials management.

Project URL:

Geographic Scope: Pilot testing has taken place in the below areas: Seattle, WA; Mobile Bay, LA; Atlanta, GA; Kansas City; MO; Mystic River, MA; Multiple locations outside of SF, CA and multiple locations outside of LA, CA; Multiple locations along the Gulf Coast. After publication, this protocol will be available for users across the nation.

Project Status: In Planning or Pending - not recruiting volunteers

Participation Tasks: Data analysis, Data entry,

Start Date: Anticipated 2021

Project Contact:

Federal Government Sponsor:

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Other Federal Government Sponsor:

Fields of Science: Ocean/water and marine

Intended Outcomes: The goal of this project is to collect better data on trash loadings and a variety of other trash characteristics to inform potential upstream sources of trash in water using EPA's Escaped Trash Assessment Protocol (ETAP).