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PHOTOS: Hundreds help clean up Anacostia River’s Kingman Island

Hundreds of volunteers with the Ocean Conservancy were rolling up their sleeves and picking up "endless amounts" of trash from Kingman Island. See photos.

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of volunteers with the Ocean Conservancy were rolling up their sleeves and picking up “endless amounts” of trash from Kingman Island.

It sits in the middle of the Anacostia River, underneath bridges that take traffic across Benning Road and East Capitol Street. Kingman Island also picks up a lot of trash.

“I found … glass and a tea bottle. Who would ever throw a tea bottle?” said Kenrick Wilson of Southeast D.C.

A few hundred feet down the shoreline from him was Charles Marxsen of Southeast, digging close to the ground with Shadhi Mansoori. Together they were finding “Styrofoam, a lot of Styrofoam” said Mansoori. “A lot of the trash kind of blends in, looking like leaves or pieces of wood.”

Last year about 500 volunteers with the Ocean Conservancy gathered about 4,000 pounds of trash. About 13 months later, there was more trash all across the small park, and much of it was “the top 10 items we find worldwide,” said Jordanna Merran, a spokeswoman for Ocean Conservancy. Those items include items people use every day, said Merran, including plastic bags, bottles, straws, stirrers, the things people use every day.”

“We’ve seen pretty much everything there is to see on the island at some point,” she added. “In the past people have found bowling balls, toys, a Polaroid camera last year and my personal favorite was a kiddie pool that was dragged out from along the river.”

This year a quick glance along the main trail across the island showed the usual everyday trash items, along with rusted out scrap metal, wheels and a broken fishing rod.

Christina Leb didn’t need much time to fill her first trash bag up. And as she scooped up several bottles and even a sneaker into her second bag, having focused on just one little section of the island, she conceded “it’s a really small spot, but it’s amazing how much you find on a really small spot. It’s incredible. It gets caught up in the bushes and it’s just endless amounts.”


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