Artificial intelligence techniques of neural network and fuzzy systems were applied as alternative methods to determine beach litter grading, based on litter surveys of the Antalya coastline (the Turkish Riviera). Litter measurements were categorized and assessed by artificial intelligence techniques, which lead to a new litter categorization system. The constructed neural network satisfactorily predicted the grading of the Antalya beaches and litter categories based on the number of litter items in the general litter category. It has been concluded that, neural networks could be used for high-speed predictions of litter items and beach grading, when the characteristics of the main litter category was determined by field studies. This can save on field effort when fast and reliable estimations of litter categories are required for management or research studies of beaches-especially those concerned with health and safety, and it has economic implications. The main advantages in using fuzzy systems are that they consider linguistic adjectival definitions, e.g. many/few, etc. As a result, additional information inherent in linguistic comments/refinements and judgments made during field studies can be incorporated in grading systems. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.