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Marine Debris Program Joins July 5th Volunteer Cleanup on Seattle’s Lake Union

JULY 13, 2018 — The elaborate and masterful Fourth of July fireworks display on Lake Union in Seattle attracts tens of thousands of people every year.

Front of kayak with net on the water.
Balloon being picked up. Image credit: NOAA.

Unfortunately, when July 5th rolls around, fragments of fireworks, as well as trash, are left floating on the lake. This year Nir Barnea, the Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator for NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, joined many volunteers in the July 5th debris cleanup coordinated by a regional partner, the Puget SoundKeeper. Using kayaks donated by the Northwest Outdoor Center, the volunteers paddled to the debris fields across Lake Union. They used trash grabbers and small nets to collect floating debris and placed them in bags, which were later weighed and disposed of. More volunteers fanned out in neighborhoods and parks around the lake to remove debris before it reached the water. The July 5th cleanup is one of many popular weekly kayak cleanups coordinated by Puget SoundKeeper and Northwest Outdoor Center on Lake Union throughout the year.

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Net scooping balloon out of water.
A small pink balloon (can you spot it?) on Lake Union, seconds before being picked up. Image credit: NOAA.
Last updated Tuesday, November 8, 2022 1:50pm PST