Marine Debris Cleanups - Puget Soundkeeper Alliance

Plastic and other forms of manufactured solid waste are a real problem for our waterways.  More than just unsightly, marine debris creates problems for fish and wildlife. Through ingestion, strangulation, entrapment and injury, marine debris kills and injures thousands of animals every year.  Due to the long life of these products, litter and debris will continue to harm the environment until someone comes along to clean up the mess. Puget Soundkeeper conducts multiple cleanup events every year, involving hundreds of volunteers from the community.  Focusing on waterways and shorelines, volunteers clean beaches, paddle kayaks to find trash in hard to reach spots, and tow large debris safely to shore with larger boats. 

Contact Gillian at if your workplace is interested in organizing a cleanup activity for a team building day of service!

Cleanups are open to everyone and only require a willingness to get dirty! Soundkeeper will provide trash bags, grabbers, and gloves and will help properly dispose of trash when finished.

Check our events page to sign up for upcoming opportunities and look out for these annual events:

Seattle Summer Cleanup Series

Puget Soundkeeper’s annual Seattle Summer Cleanups are a series of events focused on removing thousands of pounds of marine debris from Seattle’s urban waterways. For the past 12 years, the Seattle Summer Cleanup Series has contributed to our collection of over 185,000 pounds of marine debris throughout Puget Sound and its tributaries.  Included each year is Puget Soundkeeper’s July 5th fireworks cleanup at Lake Union.  In 2019, the cleanup series mobilized over 700 volunteers who collected over 2,000 pounds of marine debris from the Washington Park Arboretum, Union Bay, Lake Union, and surrounding areas. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, our Seattle Summer Cleanup Series was cancelled for 2020. We are planning to host cleanups for these series in 2021 and hope you’ll join us!

See our full photo album from the 2019 Seattle Summer Cleanup. For more information on sponsor benefits, please browse through the 2021 Clean Water Sponsorship Package or contact Teresa. 

International Coastal Cleanup

The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is a global annual cleanup project dedicated to cleaning up trash from our waters.  Puget Soundkeeper acts as a regional coordinator helping to organize and support cleanup efforts throughout the Puget Sound area. At each cleanup, every piece of trash is cataloged and added to a “Global Trash Index”. In our region alone, hundreds of volunteers participate and collect thousands of pounds of debris. Read the 2020 Puget Sound Cleanup Trash Report here.

Next ICC will be held on Saturday, September 18th. Please keep a lookout for locations and Beach Captain recruitment.

See our full photo album from 2019’s International Coastal Cleanup. Please contact Teresa for more information about becoming a sponsor or browse our 2021 Clean Water Sponsorship Package.