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Here’s how you can help clean up Lake Lanier this Saturday
Cleanup efforts have collected more than 2 million pounds of trash
Shore Sweep pic 1
Chris Gaines and Ken Goines tow abandoned dock floats out of the water as part of last year's Shore Sweep on Lake Lanier. - photo by File photo

On Saturday, volunteers will be ascending upon Lake Lanier for the Lake Lanier Association’s 31st annual Shore Sweep.

Twelve sites across the lake will host more than 1,000 volunteers on Sept. 14 where they will be roaming the banks and waters of Lake Lanier to hunt for and remove trash. During the 31 years of the event, more than two million pounds of trash has been removed from the shore of Lake Lanier.

“It’s a treasure hunt. You never know what you’ll find since trash moves down into Lake Lanier from as far away as Helen,” said long time Shore Sweep site captain Cynthia Cochran. “One of the best parts of the day is the feeling of instant gratification, knowing you’re seeing immediate results from your hard work. It’s a great opportunity to help clean our drinking water source.”

Shore Sweep efforts will expand into Dawson, Forsyth, Hall and Gwinnett counties.

Although the official event doesn’t kick off until Sept. 14, the shore sweeping efforts have already begun with the opening of the advance drop sites. Across the lake, eight sites only accessible by boat are open for those who want to get a head start on cleaning the lake.

On Saturday, these sites will close, and the trash – along with everything else found – will be taken to the 12 Shore Sweep sites across the lake. Locations and coordinates for the advance sites can be found online at

“The focus of Shore Sweep has changed over the years along with the predominate type of trash that we find. In years past it was primarily bottles, cans and leisure type trash. We now have 12 million annual visitors to Lanier but the trash is trending towards heavy, industrial type trash like dock floats which makes our boating community and dwellers invaluable with collection and disposal,” said LLA Shore Sweep Organizer Bonny Putney.

Volunteers can go to any of the 12 shore sweep locations from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to help clean up Lake Lanier. The locations are: War Hill Park in Dawson County; Bald Ridge and Port Royale marinas in Forsyth County; Gwinnett Park in Gwinnett County; and Aqualand Marina, Balus Creek Park, Clarks Bridge Olympic Park, Don Carter State Park, Gainesville Marina, Lake Lanier Islands, Longwood Park and University Yacht Club in Hall County.

Volunteers will be provided trash bags and participants will receive a t-shirt. Volunteers can register in advance by visiting