Shore sweep goes on
50 tons of trash cleaned from lake

LAWRENCEVILLE - More than 50 tons of trash have been collected from Lake Lanier this year. But there's still more.

As the lake level recedes in the face of a severe drought, long-buried bottles, batteries and boats are making their way to the surface.

The Lake Lanier Association will be holding a Super Shore Sweep to collect the debris, an off-shoot of its annual trash-collecting program that removes rubbish from the shoreline. Five trash containers will be set up at two parks and three marinas to collect the waste.

"Any well-visited lake will unfortunately have a lot of trash in it," Lake Lanier Associate director Vicki Barnhorst said. "There are ladders, anchors, batteries. Nothing interesting. But seven and a half million tourists a year leave their mark after this many years."

A spring shore sweep brought about 300 volunteers, who picked up eight tons of trash. In September, more than 1,300 volunteers collected 42 tons of rubbish.

Barnhorst said she hopes to keep the receptacles at three marinas and two parks through the new year, and would like to add more if the venture is successful.

"I want to do it as long as is necessary, as long as we can," she said. "We're finding all this stuff. What do we do with it?"

Barnhorst said she hopes people will realize that the lake, which provides much of metro Atlanta's drinking water, needs help. The Lake Lanier Association will also sponsor smaller cleanup groups, including one Jan. 5 at Balus Creek.

Trash collected on the lake can be disposed of at Van Pugh South Park, Little Ridge Park, Holiday Marina, Gainesville Marina and Port Royale Marina. For more information about the Super Shore Sweep, call 678-430-8950.

"This is uncharted territory, literally and figuratively," Barnhorst said of exploring the new shoreline. "We'll have to see how it works."