A wooded area of shoreline is dotted with blue trash bags and volunteers cleaning up trash and debris from Lake Lanier's shoreline.

Members of two lake advocacy groups removed more than a ton of trash on Lake Lanier in January.

Two Lake Lanier advocacy organizations came together in early January for a one-day lake clean-up near Don Carter State Park. They netted more than one ton of garbage and marked the first time the two groups have sponsored a joint clean-up.

The Lake Lanier Association and the headwater’s office of the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper organized the event on the north end of the lake, bringing together more than 30 people to remove plastic, wood, construction materials and debris that had piled up over several years.

“Much of the trash had washed down from the headwaters from as far away as Helen,” Putney said. “About half of it was plastic water bottles, but it also included debris that got hung up in the whale tail curve where the Chattahoochee comes down into the lake from parts north.”

Putney said that an area resident adjacent to Don Carter State Park reported the debris and requested that it be cleaned up.

“It was like a driftwood beach where everything just gets dropped, so it was quite a mess,” Putney said. “It was really difficult to get to; thanks to our volunteers we were able to remove the debris.”

United Rentals provided two all-terrain vehicles to bring the items from the shoreline to a dumpster for removal.

Putney said that both groups are discussing other ways to join together on projects, beyond their assistance with each group’s major clean-ups – the Riverkeepers Sweep the Hooch on March 25 and the LLA Shore Sweep on September 23.

“We each have strengths and assets that can benefit each other,” she said. “There are a lot of things that the Riverkeeper does that we don’t and vice versa.

“In addition to starting the new year off with a lake-focused project, all the volunteers had a really good time working together,” Putney said. “It was a really fun event.”

Photos: provided by LLA