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NOAA Takes on Trash at the International Coastal Cleanup

OCTOBER 19, 2018 — On October 13, the Marine Debris Program’s (MDP) Director, Nancy Wallace, OR&R Director Dave Westerholm, NOS Acting Assistant Administrator Nicole LeBoeuf, and Acting NOAA Administrator RDML Tim Gallaudet, participated in the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup flagship event.

Group of people pose outdoors at a table.
Emma Tonge, MDP Communications and Outreach Specialist; Steve Morrison, NOS International Affairs Specialist; Nancy Wallace, MDP Director; Carlie Herring, MDP Research Analyst; MaryLee Haughwout, MDP Deputy Director; Dave Westerholm, OR&R Director; Nicole LeBoeuf, NOS Acting Assistant Administrator; and Scott Lundgren, OR&R’s Emergency Response Division Director. Image credit: NOAA.

Held on Kingman Island, the event brought together hundreds of volunteers to clear the island and Anacostia River of plastic bottles, plastic foam food containers, cans, tires, large metal scraps, tarps, and more. RDML Gallaudet provided opening remarks to the gathered crowd, in which he described NOAA’s role to combat marine debris, shared his personal connections to the ocean, and emphasized that marine debris is man-made problem with real-world solutions that can involve everyone.

Following the cleanup, participants entered a contest for the most interesting piece of trash, participated in a costume contest, and filled a turtle sculpture with debris found during the cleanup.

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Man posing outdoors holding trash.
Dave Westerholm holds up his “weird finds” from the cleanup: a lost dog collar and a car part. Image credit: NOAA.
Man speaking at a microphone.
RDML Gallaudet speaks to the crowd gathered on Kingman Island. Image credit: NOAA.
Close up photo of trash outdoors.
Plastic bottles, foam, and other debris on the banks of the Anacostia River. Image credit: NOAA.
Last updated Friday, June 14, 2019 2:52pm PDT