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Washingtonians Collect over 4,000 Pounds of Trash at Ocean Conservancy’s Flagship Cleanup at Kingman Island

Nearly 400 volunteers removed over 4000 pounds of garbage from the Kingman Island on the Anacostia River. (Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Ocean Conservancy)
Nearly 400 volunteers removed over 4000 pounds of garbage from the Kingman Island on the Anacostia River. (Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Ocean Conservancy)

Photos and b-roll from the event can be found HERE

Nearly 400 volunteers gathered on Kingman and Heritage Islands in the Anacostia River for the flagship event of Ocean Conservancy’s  International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) – the largest beach and waterway cleanup in the world. Every year, International Coastal Cleanup events draw hundreds of thousands of volunteers, removing millions of pounds of trash across over 15,000 miles of coastline globally.

In addition to collecting many of the top ten items found at cleanups globally, at Saturday’s cleanup, volunteers also found some bizarre trash, including a bicycle, a vacuum, a Betamax player, a machete, multiple tires, and an Adirondack chair, all of which are included in the photo and b-roll folders.

“We all have a role to play in protecting our ocean from plastic pollution. While it’s critical that we work to turn off the tap of plastics flowing into the environment by eliminating some of the most harmful plastics like plastic foam, we also need to do the hard work of cleaning up what’s already out there. I am inspired by the way the D.C. community came together this weekend to do just that, removing a whopping two tons of trash from Kingman Island,” said Allison Schutes, Senior Director of the International Coastal Cleanup.

The Kingman Island cleanup helps preserve a unique local ecosystem that is home to more than 100 different species of wildlife. Ocean Conservancy partnered with the Living Classrooms Foundation to help organize this event.

This event also celebrated Ocean Conservancy’s new campaign to ban plastic foam (commonly known as brand name Styrofoam) nationally. As detailed in Ocean Conservancy’s new report, “What The Foam?!”, plastic foam takeout containers were among the top 10 items collected by International Coastal Cleanup volunteers in 2022. Since 1986, volunteers have removed nearly 9 million plastic foam cups, plates and containers, weighing approximately 160,000 pounds.

The District has led the way in tackling plastic foam, passing a ban on plastic foam foodware in 2014, before any U.S. states. International Coastal Cleanup data suggest that the ban has had an impact: when adjusted for number of volunteers, the average number of foam cups, plates and takeout containers collected in D.C. since 2016, when the ban was first implemented, has dropped 95%.

Nationally, momentum has increased since then, with just under a dozen U.S. states following suit with similar legislation. But the ocean needs bigger and bolder action now, which is why Ocean Conservancy is calling on Congress to say, “What The Foam?!,” and pass a national ban on this single-use, nonrecyclable material, starting with foodware.

To help draw attention to this major issue, the D.C. cleanup event also featured an art installation made of plastic foam created by local artist Wendy Sittner.

Launched in 1986, the ICC has mobilized more than 17 million volunteers to remove over 350 million pounds of trash from beaches and waterways worldwide.

Here you can find a folder with photos and b-roll from today’s event.

Here is a link to the photos that were distributed via AP wire.

International Coastal Cleanup Partners

The Coca-Cola Foundation remains a longtime International Coastal Cleanup partner and has supported the global event for more than two decades. Since 2000, Bank of America has partnered with Ocean Conservancy in support of the International Coastal Cleanup to keep our ocean clean and thriving across the globe. Other supporting partners of the 2023 International Coastal Cleanup include Anonymous, Anonymous Retired Bremerton Resident, Hilton Global Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Pacific Life Foundation, AXIS Capital, Citizens, The Forrest C. & Frances H. Lattner Foundation, Garnier, The Kleid Family Charitable Fund, Ocean Network Express (North America) Inc., Stanley, Brunswick Foundation, O-I Glass, Inc., The Philip Stephenson Foundation, and SeaBOS.

About Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Program

Ocean Conservancy has led the fight for a clean, healthy ocean free of trash since 1986, when the U.S.-based nonprofit launched its annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC). Since then, Ocean Conservancy has mobilized millions of ICC volunteers to remove trash from beaches and waterways around the world while pioneering upstream solutions to the growing ocean plastics crisis. Ocean Conservancy invests in cutting-edge scientific research, implements on-the-ground projects, and works with conservationists, scientists, governments, the private sector and members of the public to change the plastics paradigm. To learn more about our Trash Free Seas® program visit

About Ocean Conservancy

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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