July 1, 2015

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

On July 5, a group of dedicated volunteers will be making it an early morning. The second event in the Seattle Summer Sweep, an annual series hosted by Puget Soundkeeper and sponsored by Brown Bear Car Wash, removes hundreds of pounds of debris left by the Fourth of July fireworks display from Lake Union and the surrounding shorelines and neighborhoods.

Soundkeeper has organized the 5th of July cleanup of the lake after Seattle’s annual fireworks show since 1995, giving Seattle residents an opportunity to participate in an active, hands-on solution to the problem of marine debris.

Most fireworks are made at least partially of plastic, which never biodegrades. Over time, plastics break down into tiny pieces, which are often consumed by wildlife and leach toxic substances that move up the food chain. Recent research estimated that humpback whales in the Strait of Georgia consumed over 300,000 particles of plastic a day.

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.

Kayakers and boaters will begin cleaning the lake at 8:00 am while volunteers on foot walk the shorelines. The entire cleanup crew will gather at South Lake Union Park at 12:30 for lunch.


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.