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Citizen science on Marine Litter

Combining Research and Action!

Since 2018 HZ Green Office is organizing clean-up events at the beaches, canals, forests, and harbors in Vlissingen, in collaboration with the Municipality of Vlissingen and “Doe Mee, Verlos de Zee!”. Integrated monitoring is carried out of the marine litter distribution on the coasts of the Eastern and Western Scheldt, as well as in the harbour of Vlisssingen. This research is shared with our partners in the Convenant Schone Schelde; a collaborate effort signed by 30 local parties to keep our river Scheldt clean. In this way, we participate in scientific research and at the same time contribute to efforts to keep our local beaches and River Scheldt clean.

In 2019, we monitored marine litter on five beach locations in Zeeland and tested different monitoring methods. The outcome of this research can be found in this report: Using citizen science in monitoring plastic debris on beaches.  

Over the period June - October 2020, we monitored which types and amounts of marine waste we found in the Inner Harbour of Vlissingen. Read our report: Monitoring zwerfafval Binnenhaven Vlissingen.  

Read the story that Janine Vink, wrote as a student journalism at Utrecht University, about one of our monitoring events.  

Join us!

Clean-ups and monitoring sessions are taking place every week. We give you the opportunity to earn HZ Personality Credits while connecting with students from other study programs, participating in an outdoor activity, and making a step towards a clean and circular economy. You don’t need to bring anything. Earn double hours only for clean-ups with monitoring, like the harbor clean-ups. To always be up to date about the weekly clean-ups, visit the HZ Green Office Instagram
  • Interested? Just let us know upfront via Instagram or by sending an email to or
  • Non-student volunteers are welcome to join our efforts because the initiative is based on volunteers! Contact us or your local municipality.
  • You can also do your own cleanup. Locations where lots of waste can be found are around the canal between Middelburg and Vlissingen, De Buitenhaven in Vlissingen, around HZ Middelburg in the park, and around supermarkets. Or select a location in your neighborhood!

If you link this to HZ Personality, make some pictures as proof of your activity. But before that, do not forget to talk with your study coach and have the PDP approved. For having the hours signed, contact Carmel Michaeli at

Click for more info about HZ Credits

Below, you find the hours template for tracking the spent hours for HZ Green Office activities: Bestand:HZ Personality HOURS SHEET.pdf

With our clean-ups we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

6.jpg 6. Clean Water and Sanitation

14.jpg14. Life Below Water

17.jpg 17. Partnerships to achieve the Goals

Cleanups newsletters

On a monthly basis, our litter cleanup coordinator Jan Flechner issues a newsletter. You can read them here:

January Clean-Up Newsletter

February Clean-Up Newsletter