Digital Drifting LLC is proud to join The Plastic Tide in announcing the launch of DRONET,
the world's first global, Marine Litter Drone Network.

DRONET Banner

April 27, 2018 - Digital Drifting LLC (DD-Drones) is proud to join The Plastic Tide (www.theplastictide.com) in announcing the official launch of DRONET, the world's first global, Marine Litter Drone Network. Dronet currently has 17 core members from 14 countries. 

MarineLitterDRONET 04 2018

DRONET members as of April 2018

As one of the founding members of DRONET, Dr. Enyeart is excited to join this collaborative effort led by Peter Kohler, founder of The Plastic Tide's early research to create an algorithm to recognize marine litter and combine it with a global standardized methodology for the utilization of drones to conduct coastline marine litter surveys.

Peter Kohler, founder and director of The Plastic Tide said:
The Plastic Tide team and I are super excited about the official launch of the Marine Litter DRONET, after growing it for the last 6 months we feel it is now ready to launch. We hope it will form the foundations for a global standard for using autonomous systems to help reveal how we can relieve an ocean besieged by the plastic tide of our own waste.

In addition to helping define the organizational structure, mission and proposed methodology, members of Dronet contributed more than 8,000+ images of coastline marine litter in less than 6 months to help The Plastic Tide speed and refine the development of its marine litter algorithm.

With the support of New Jersey Clean Communities Council, Dr. Enyeart obtained a Special Use Permit from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and the NJ Division of Parks to conduct the drone methodology research and survey. Five miles of beach at the southern end of Island Beach State Park was selected and weekly flights begin in November 2017. To date, over 5,000 images of marine litter from IBSP have been uploaded and tagged to train the algorithm. Following is a small sample of the types of litter identified by a recent drone survey and collected following the survey.

Items Collected and sorted by size and type of marine litter
Small plastic fragments 0.5cm to 10cm
soft fragments 10-20cm Plastic rope & string Medium hard plastic food wrappers
Plastic straws
Food wrappers Plastic drink bottles
Plastic rope fragments & cord
Large drink containers Glass bottles
Plastic bottle caps
most frequent litter
washed up on the
beach, easily covered
by sand
Soft plastic bags - frequently found
Clear plastic bags are most frequent type, but colored palstic bags are also found
Mylar balloons are common as is the colorful ribbon used to tie the balloons.
Birds are attracted to the ribbons and small pieces of brightly colored balloons.
Plastic bottles and drink containers
Cataloging and tallying the various types of plastic and other objects deposited on the beach by tides and left by visitors.
(No, not the car or me)

Morris Enyeart, Ed.D. of DD-Drones, LLC noted:
The value of this standardized methodology cannot be under-estimated, as it can also be easily adapted to non-marine litter surveys in areas that are difficult or hazardous for teams of people to conduct on the ground litter surveys. In addition, due to its lower cost and smaller resource requirement, the standardized process can be employed by community coordinators to give us a more comprehensive, consistent evaluation of the litter problem over time as we devise and assess new litter abatement programs.

Additional Information:

For interviews with The Plastic Tide Founder and with network members as well as related imagery,
The Plastic Tide: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., t: 0207 641 6155,
Or founder directly on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., m: 0207 641 6155

For Interviews with Morris A. Enyeart, Ed.D., DD-Drones, founder and member of Dronet regarding his work on Island Beach State Park in NJ: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +1 609-994-3300.

Identify Beach Litter on Island Beach State Park: https://dd-drones.com/news

Launching the Marine Litter Dronet: https://www.theplastictide.com/blog-1/2018/4/22/launching-the-marine-litter-dronet