A Voice for Our Ocean

Ahead of Halloween, Suit Up to Fight Monster Ocean Plastic Right Here in D.C.

Join Ocean Conservancy’s Flagship International Coastal Cleanup and #SuitUptoCleanUp Kingman Island on October 13

WASHINGTON, DC – Originally scheduled for September 15 but postponed due to Hurricane Florence, Ocean Conservancy’s flagship International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) event will take place on Kingman Island on Saturday, October 13. In the spirit of Halloween and its own #SuitUptoCleanUp campaign, Ocean Conservancy invites D.C. residents to don their favorite Halloween costumes and help fight the monster that is ocean plastic. More than 500 volunteers turned out to last year’s Cleanup collecting nearly 4,000 pounds of trash, and early numbers indicate the turnout will be even greater this year.

“The D.C. area was spared the brunt of Hurricane Florence’s wrath, but heavy rain usually means lots of trash and litter washing down storm drains right into the Anacostia River, which eventually leads to the Atlantic,” said Ocean Conservancy Trash Free Seas® program associate director Allison Schutes. “While we were disappointed we had to postpone the event, we know that we have the chance to have an even greater impact this October.”

As in years past, the flagship D.C. event will feature live music, lawn games, and a “weird finds” contest (past entries included a Polaroid camera, bowling ball, fire hose, and Incredible Hulk costume glove, to name a few). Volunteers will receive t-shirts and other giveaways; and gloves, bug spray and sunscreen are all provided, along with a light breakfast and lunch.

New this year, Ocean Conservancy has commissioned an eight-foot, hollow metal sculpture of a painted turtle—a local turtle species— from Environmental Sculptures, and will install it to contain and display select trash items at Kingman Island. The sculpture will be a permanent resident of the park, which is managed by The Living Classrooms Foundation, a longtime partner. Also new this year, volunteers will be able to #suitup with Halloween- and ocean-themed props and costumes at our photo booth, while younger attendees can trick-or-treat around the island.

The rescheduled D.C. International Coastal Cleanup runs from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM on Saturday, October 13. Visit to register.

WHO: Ocean Conservancy leadership and staff

Hundreds of Washingtonians

Special guests including representatives from the European Union delegation

WHAT: Ocean Conservancy’s flagship International Coastal Cleanup

·         Anacostia River cleanup

·         Free breakfast and lunch

·         Live music

·         Lawn games and kid-friendly activities

·         Installation of permanent turtle sculpture

·         Costume contest

·         Plastic-free Trick-or-Treating

WHEN: Saturday, October 13; 9:30 AM  – 12:30 PM

(Postponed from September 15)

WHERE: Kingman Island, NE DC
ABOUT: Launched in 1986 on a single beach in Texas, the ICC has mobilized nearly 13 million volunteers and removed 250 million pounds of trash from beaches and waterway worldwide. In addition to removing trash, volunteers contribute to the world’s largest database on marine debris by logging each trash item using paper data cards or in real-time using Ocean Conservancy’s Clean Swell app. Scientists, researchers, industry leaders and policymakers rely on Ocean Conservancy’s Ocean Trash Index to inform policy and craft solutions to the growing ocean plastics crisis.

Last year, more than 500 volunteers collected nearly 4,000 pounds of trash at our flagship Kingman Island event. Worldwide, 800,000 volunteers collected 20 million pounds of trash.



Note to editors: Ocean Conservancy experts are available for comment. Infographics depicting data from the 2017 International Coastal Cleanup, released in June, are available here. Photos and b-roll from previous ICC events are also available.

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit, or follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.