Hundreds of volunteers are expected to take part in clearing the shores of Lake Lanier Saturday.
Now in its 27th year, Shore Sweep is the Lake Lanier Association's largest and most successful annual event. Last year, nearly 1,000 volunteers collected more than 50 tons of debris on Lake Lanier.
Of that, an estimated 23 tons was collected at War Hill Park, the Dawson County staging area.
"We had over 150 volunteers and 23 boats, so it's humungous and there's a lot that goes into it," said Gordon Brand, Shore Sweep champion for all of Lake Lanier.
With more than 692 miles of Lake Lanier shoreline, the event is set for 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at various parks and marinas around the lake.
Dawson County's event will be at War Hill Park, where Keep Dawson County Beautiful has partnered to provide lunch for volunteers after the clean-up. Volunteers will also receive a Shore Sweep T-shirt.
The purpose of the event is to clean the lake and its shores, but also to raise awareness of the damage littering causes.
"The impact of Shore Sweep on the community is something else. It keeps this beautiful lake clean and safe for all of us to use," Brand said.
Volunteers include groups such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and civic clubs, as well as other local residents, who report to one of 12 locations across the lake's surrounding counties.
Trash bags will be passed out at nearly a dozen locations on Lake Lanier.
Local advance drop off locations include: Nix Island (map coordinate D-21, closest buoy marker 21C, boat accessible only) and Toto Creek boat launch (map coordinate B-23, closest buoy marker 25C). Both are in the War Hill Park vicinity.
Bagged trash or large items are being accepted at these locations, which are identified with Shore Sweep signs.
New this year, the Lake Lanier Association has a new tool in its arsenal for ridding the lake's shores of trash: a cellphone app.
The "TrashOut" app allows users to take a picture of trash big and small and give the exact coordinates of the litter.
The association has already counted more than 200 reports of trash at Lake Lanier and will use the information to help dispatch volunteers in the most effective manner.
"Certainly, it's a big step forward for us in terms of organization of the event," said Executive Director Joanna Cloud.
Advanced registration for participation in the event is not required, but does help in scheduling shoreline coverage. If you would like to notify the association of your intention to participate, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit lakelanier.org/shore-sweep or contact Joanna Cloud at email@example.com.