Washington Avenue Green
United by Blue volunteers collect trash on the beach at Washington Avenue Green

June 26, 2018. United By Blue, Philadelphia Water Department, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, and the Delaware River Waterfront joined forces for a cleanup of the Delaware River Waterfront. Joined by a team of 69 volunteers, the crew split up into groups to tackle the trash on various piers along the riverfront in this urban cleanup.

Getting down and dirty in the Delaware River mud flats, volunteers hauled out tires, shopping carts, and single-use plastics to wind up with a total of 2,708 pounds of trash and recycling removed in just two hours!

There was the usual collection of pollutants: single-use plastics, discarded bottles, and cigarette butts. But the highlight is always the Weird Trash Competition: this year the entry was an old video cassette and some bike gears. Previous cleanups have yielded hundreds of shopping carts, a discarded briefcase, a passport, and two guns.

Two thousand and eight pounds of trash and recycling were collected during the June 26 cleanup. Starting at Dockside Residences, 1717 Columbus Boulevard, the volunteers moved southward and ended up at Washington Avenue Green.

At the end of the evening, the running trails, recreational piers, and Delaware River were left cleaner and healthier than we found them, thanks to the hard work of our wonderful volunteers! United By Blue thanks all of our partners and volunteers for making this cleanup a success, including Clif Bar for fueling us and GoPhillyGo.org for their sustainable transportation to our cleanups water and air.

To learn more about United by Blue, check out their website:


Ongoing at Washington Avenue Green is the Pier 53 Project—a historical study of the immigrants who arrived at the Pier from 1876 to the 1920's, their stories, and the stories of their descendants. Each story is part of a mosaic that contributes to the history of Philadelphia and its waterfront, and ultimately to the history of immigration in the United States.

Here's the link to the Pier 53 Project page on this site. Pier 53 Project

And here's the link to a recent podcast first aired on WHYY on June 14, 2018. It includes an interview with Susan McAnnley and a description of the Pier 53 Project.


Photo of sign above is by Kathy Martin. All other photos by Susan McAninley.