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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 and harbors in Vlissingen, in collaboration with the Municipality of Vlissingen and “Doe Mee, Verlos de Zee!”. Together with Rijkwaterstaat, also integrated monitoring is carried out of the marine litter distribution on the coasts of the Eastern and Western Scheldt. In this way, we participate in scientific research and at the same time contribute to efforts to keep our local beaches clean.
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

In 2019 we monitored marine litter on five beach locations in Zeeland and tested different monitoring methods. The outcome of this research in 2019 can be read in this report: USING CITIZEN SCIENCE IN MONITORING PLASTIC DEBRIS ON BEACHES. Read the story that Janine Vink, student journalism from Utrecht University, wrote about one of these cleaning and monitoring events.  

One year later, we are building upon this research; in collaboration with Delta management and Rijkswaterstaat, the 5 locations that were studied in 2019, are again monitored during the World Cleanup Day on 19 Sep 2020.  

Commissioned by the municipality of Vlissingen, we are currently monitoring the litter found in De Binnenhaven. For this, cleanups and monitoring activities are organized on a bi-weekly basis. A diverse group of students from different study programmes as well as citizens are participating in these events.  

Join us!

Everyone is welcome to join us! Students can link the cleanups to HZ Personality/ free credits

Clean-ups and monitoring sessions are taking place on a weekly basis. To always be up to date about the weekly clean-ups, visit the HZ Green Office Instagram or the HZ Green Office Facebook page.

You don’t need to bring anything to participate, but dress up warm enough! The clean-ups, together with other Green Office activities, are a chance to gain HZ Personality (or FCC) credits while connecting with students from other study programmes, participate in an outdoor activity, and making a step towards a clean and circular economy. 

-> for HZ students all these activities can be linked to HZ Personality. Interested? Just come spontaniously or let us know upfront via Insta or by sending an email to or 

This initiative is based on volunteers, so also non-student volunteers are welcome to join our efforts! 

Upcoming cleanups and monitoring sessions:

Twice a week, volunteers from Doe Mee Verlos de Zee can be found cleaning the beaches.

Every Wednesday morning (starting at 10h), they can be found at the beach of Dishoek around beach pavillion Kaapduin.

Every Friday afternoon (starting around 14.00-14.30h), they can be found in Vlissingen at Nollestrand and Badstrand.

Want to join them? Just come spontaniously. It could happen that on a certain day you can't immediately find a volunteer from Doe Mee Verlos de Zee. In that case, you can just start yourself. Make sure to bring a bag to collect your waste. You can put all waste in the large metal bins from Doe Mee Verlos de Zee or in the normal bins on the beach.

During Corona, cleanups can still continue on safely. It's an outdoor activity and we keep the 1,5m safety distance.

You can also just do your own cleanup. Good locations where lots of waste can be found are rround the canal between Middelburg and Vlissingen, De Buitenhaven in Vlissingen, around HZ Middelburg in the park, and around Supermarkets. Or just select a location in your neighbourhood you like to make clean and look nice!

If you link this to HZ Personality, make some pictures as proof of your activity.

If you want to borrow a "prikker" from us, let us know via or or contact your local municipality.

Doe Mee Verlos de Zee Vlissingen

HZ Green Office is part of a multi-stakeholder initiative with the aim to keep the waters in and around Vlissingen clean. Different stakeholders participate in this initiative, such as Waterschap Scheldestromen, gemeente Vlissingen, the fishery industry ("de Vismijn"), Reclassering, politie, rowing club De Honte, and Doe Mee Verlos de Zee Vlissingen.

On a monthly basis, local stakeholders have come together to discuss strategies and actions taken to minimize the waste on the beaches, de Binnenhaven, and in and around the Canal. The minutes of these meetings (in Dutch) can be found here: Verslagen multi-stakeholder overleg afval in Binnenhaven.

These meetings have resulted in a Project Plan: Project plan Concept 7 jan 2020

Convenant Schone Schelde

HZ University of Applied Sciences, Gemeente Vlissingen, and Doe Mee Verlos de Zee Vlissingen are part of the Convenant Schone Schelde, a collaborative action program initiated by Rijkswaterstaat to decrease the amount of waste in the river Scheldt. The convenant has been signed by 28 parties. The cleanup and monitoring activities that the Green Office is organising are contributing to this program.

Vispluis (“Dolly Rope”) Binnenhaven Vlissingen

Evenementen (actueel)

Er zijn geen events gepland.

Evenementen (afgelopen)

2020-03-07 Waterlab: Stakeholder bijeenkomst landelijke samenwerking op het gebied van plastic en citizen science monitoring in watersystemen Waterlab 7 maart 2020
2019-11-29 Vispluis Beach Cleanup Vlissingen This Friday, the association Centree Zierikzee is organizing a national collection day to raise awareness about plastic pollution on the coast of the Netherlands. The aim is to collect the blue plastic fishing fiber called "VisPluis" from the beaches and the coastline and use it to create a great art piece together with the artist Kainoosh Gerami.

The HZ Green Office is proud to be a partner and is organizing a collection event on the Nollestrand in Vlissingen. This will be only one of the many collection locations that are part of this initiative.

We will meet on Friday the 29th at 13:00 at Panta Rhei near Nollestrand in Vlissingen.

You can find more information about this initiative and other locations here : or here

Be part of this initiative and make a statement for our coastline!

We are looking forward to see you there
2019-11-22 Beach Cleanup 22 Nov Friday 13:00 - 15:30 Cleanup Beach, start at 13hr at t Smoske
2019-11-08 Beach cleanup Friday 8th of Nov Meetup at 13:00 in front of Smoske For more info or to sign up for the event visit our facebook page:
2019-10-25 Beach cleanup Vlissingen Friday afternoon we'll take to the beach once again to clean up the shoreline of Vlissingen.

Cleanup materials will be provided.

We will meet at 15:00 in front of the Panta Rhei at Vlissingen close to the Nollestrand. On this occasion, we will continue the clean-up efforts while further collecting data about the plastic litter found.

Christoph will be there again needing your help and guiding you through the process. This time we would like to test the accessibility of a specific app so if you want to help and prepare in advance you could download the “litterati” app before Friday. However, there will be an opportunity to download this on location. This approach is oriented on the same methodology as we tested last time but with a different input approach.

We are looking forward to getting involved with you again!

Visit our Facebook page to get the latest info on our events, any changes to the schedules can be found there. You can also sign up for this beach cleanup directly via the following Facebook page:

We hope to see you on Friday and as always, feel free to invite others.
2019-10-16 Harbour cleanup Vlissingen Wednesday morning the 16th of October we'll meet up at 09:45 in front of t' Smoske to clean up the "Binnenhaven" in Vlissingen, right across from the university. Cleanup materials will be provided. We have time until 12:00 but leaving earlier is no problem.
2019-10-04 Beach cleanup Vlissingen On Friday afternoon on the 4th of October, the HZ Green Office is organising a beach cleanup in Vlissingen.

The meetup spot will be in front of the Panta Rhei at 14:15. We will combine our efforts to get the beach a little cleaner followed by some drinks and snacks afterwards. Drinks and snacks will be provided by us. However, please bring your own cup or a reusable bottle if you can.

We will also start combining the cleanups with monitoring the things we collect. Delta management student Christoph Sonneck will guide us this Friday in monitoring plastic waste. The goal is to measure what we find, how much, and where.

There are a lot of small plastic pellets on the beach at the moment, so bring a kitchen sieve/strainer if you have one.

Visit our Facebook page to get the latest info on our events, any changes to the schedules can be found there. You can also sign up for this beach cleanup directly via the following facebook event page:

We hope to see you on Friday and as always, feel free to invite others!
2019-09-18 Harbour cleanup Vlissingen Wednesday morning the 18th we'll meet up at 09:45 in front of t' Smoske to clean up the "Binnenhaven" in Vlissingen, right across from the university. Cleanup materials will be provided. We have time until 12:00 but leaving earlier is no problem.