June 8, 2015


Kathryn Davis, Stewardship Coordinator, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance
(206) 297-7002;


Summer Sweep draws hundreds of volunteers to clean up Seattle’s urban waterways

June 13 marks the first day of the Seattle Summer Sweep, an annual series of events hosted by Puget Soundkeeper and sponsored by Brown Bear Car Wash. For the last 12 years, hundreds of volunteers have been gathering to remove harmful marine debris—Styrofoam, packaging material, cigarette butts and other trash—from Seattle’s urban waterways. Now for the first time, Sweep has expanded to include three separate events, each focused on a different waterway: June 13 in the Ship Canal and Salmon Bay, July 5 in Lake Union, and August 8 in Portage Bay and Union Bay.

The June 13th event is based out of Fishermen’s Terminal, where kayakers and volunteers on larger boats will pull trash from the water while land-based volunteers walk the shoreline. The event begins at 8:30 am and will continue through the morning, wrapping up with lunch at noon.

Over the years, Sweep has proven just how large an effect individual action can have on the health of urban waterways. Since 2010, these cleanups have removed more than 12,000 pounds of trash, protecting resident wildlife and keeping these waterways alive for future generations. An estimated 90% of marine debris is plastic, meaning it will never biodegrade, and many animals ingest marine debris or feed it to their young. The Summer Sweep gives Seattle residents a chance to get involved in a hands-on solution to this problem.

With three separate days devoted to cleanups, we expect to retrieve much more trash this year and engage a greater number of volunteers and local businesses.


Puget Soundkeeper is a citizen advocacy group whose mission is to protect and preserve the waters of Puget Sound. Established in 1984, Soundkeeper is a founding member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. In the past 5 years, Soundkeeper has mobilized over 6,000 volunteers and removed more than 125,000 pounds of trash from Puget Sound waterways.