Three dozen shopping carts are among the haul of junk pulled from Oxon Cove. Photo courtesy of Potomac Riverkeeper Network

SLIDESHOW: Volunteers Work to Erase Potomac’s “Trash Island”

It was a horrifying sight for a riverkeeper to spot: a secluded cove had turned into the final resting place for piles and piles of junk outside the nation’s capital.

Potomac Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks got the word out about so-called “Trash Island”. In December, Bay Bulletin‘s Cheryl Costello saw firsthand the vast array of litter, runoff pollution, and outright junk.

Naujoks and the Potomac Riverkeeper Network worked quickly to get federal approval for a cleanup, and the first of several scheduled volunteer cleanups took place over the weekend.

A group of 15 volunteers removed 35 shopping carts, 22 tires, four bicycles, three chairs, and other large junk like construction cones and barrels. In addition, they gathered an impressive 35 bags of trash and 1,200 plastic bottles. Below, click through photos of some of the extensive litter pulled from the waterway:

The Potomac Riverkeeper Network will be back out at Oxon Cove the next three Saturdays. You can sign up to help out. Each date is split into two shifts, to help with social distancing of volunteers.

-Meg Walburn Viviano