Citizen Science with Clean Swell

StewardshipThinking of using Clean Swell to record data for the CYS Remote Kickoff? This handy app got some updates in 2023, so we’ve updated our How-To Guide so you can feel confident collecting data on your own or with a group.

Partners for Clean Streams is proud to share the Ocean Conservancy’s Clean Swell app. Clean Swell is a phone app version of a data card. It lets you track the marine debris on your smart phone with a simple tap of a tile. The app records the amount of trash you have removed, estimates trash weight, tracks your total distance cleaned, and lets you earn badges as you collect.

1. Download the app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store and create a profile.

2. Once you’re on-site at your clean-up location, open the app and select “start new clean-up.” If you’re participating in Clean Your Streams’ remote kickoff, please name your group “CYS 27 – [Your Group Name].” If you’re cleaning up at any other time of the year, we encourage you to name your group “CYS 365 – [Your Group Name]” so that we know you are one of our groups!

3. When you start your clean-up, you’ll see the app’s trash is organized into item categories. When you open the categories, you’ll see tappable tiles. As you pick up pieces of trash, tap the corresponding type. Another option that works well for cleaning solo is to walk through an area tapping tiles for all the trash you can spot, then pick up the trash after your walkthrough.

4. Once you’ve finished your clean-up and you’re still on-site, select “Finish this cleanup” at the bottom of the screen, then after confirming your data is correct, tap the button at the bottom to submit your data.

The basics are as simple as that! Of course, you may still have some questions. What happens if you find something very heavy that doesn’t fit neatly into a category? How do you remove something you’ve accidentally added? Fear not – our full Clean Swell guide is available here.