FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) – After a busy summer season on Lake Lanier, now it’s time to clean up after everyone.
The Lake Lanier Association, with help from other groups, is hosting the 33rd Shore Sweep on Saturday, September 25.
More than one thousand volunteers are expected to come out to pick up trash and debris all around the lake. Everyone is invited to come out and help clean up.
Lake Lanier Association Executive Director Jennifer Flowers said the 2019 and 2020 Shore Sweeps each collected 80 tons of trash.
“It’s really disheartening to see people who come out to the lake and they enjoy it for the day and they enjoy it for its beauty and then they leave behind all of their trash,” said Flowers. “They’ll just leave all of their cans and their bottles and their trash. Sometimes they’ll bag it up for us and just leave it right there and there’s no magic trash fairy to come and get that.”
Volunteers are invited to come out on everything from boats to canoes to paddleboards but can also walk along the shoreline to pick up trash at any section of the lake.
There are 13 locations where trash will be collected from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday:
- Forsyth County: Bald Ridge Marina, Shady Grove, Port Royale Marina
- Gwinnett County: Gwinnett Park
- Dawson County: War Hill Park and Toto Creek
- Hall County: Aqualand Marina, Balus Creek Park, Lake Lanier Olympic Park, Don Carter State Park, Gainesville Marina, Lanier Islands, and Holly Park.
“A real shout out to the volunteers. They are the heroes of the event,” said Lake Lanier Association President John Barker. “Without them it doesn’t happen.”
Volunteers have already started collecting items including big floats that break away from underneath docks and even an abandoned jet ski. The trash is more than just unsightly, as Flowers explained pointing out small pieces of Styrofoam on the shoreline.
“The little bits of Styrofoam is what’s called microplastics and so those can end up in our waterways, it can end up in our drinking water, in our food chain, in the fish,” said Flowers. “Lake Lanier is a drinking water source for about four million people, so it’s not just people that live around here, City of Atlanta gets their water from the Chattahoochee River which comes out of Lake Lanier.”
The popular lake hosts more than 12 million visitors each year and the Shore Sweep organizers want to keep it a desirable place to visit.
Flowers said, “You’d be surprised how much fun it is to collect trash. It’s like an adult treasure hunt because you’ll never know what you’re going to come up with.”
Barker said, “At the end of the day you feel good, you contributed, you did something for the good of the lake.”
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