Lake Martin takes part in annual Renew Our RiversPublished 8:31am Saturday, September 15, 2012
By Laura Pemberton, Staff Writer
Lake Martin will soon be cleaner.
Advanced Disposal, Russell Lands on Lake Martin and Lake Martin Resource Association will team up Oct. 5 and 6 for Alabama Power Company’s 12th annual Renew Our Rivers project.
“The benefits of this project are very evident,” said John Thompson, vice president of Lake Martin Resource Association. “You don’t want to pull up to a beach and it be littered with beer cans.”
Thompson estimated more than 200 volunteers took part in the effort in 2011 and collected nine tons of debris. Most of the storm debris was a result of the April 27, 2011 tornados.
Thompson said a major focus of this year’s cleanup will be removing abandoned boats and piers, which are potentially hazardous to swimmers and other boats.
“Alabama Power Co. furnishes two barges built to handle the task of hauling heavy trash and debris,” Thompson said. “LMRA makes their buoy boats available to transport volunteers and haul trash back to the dumpsters that Advanced Disposal provides.”
He also said the project will focus its efforts on the Wind Creek area to maintain effectiveness.
“Lake Martin is a really clean lake, but it’s also a very big lake,” Thompson said. “We’d rather focus on a particular area than spread ourselves thin.”
Anyone interested in volunteering should meet at 8 a.m. Oct. 5 at the Wind Creek Marina, where shoreline cleanup assignments will be distributed.
On Friday Russell Lands employees will remove roadside litter surrounding Lake Martin along Highway 63.
Saturday, Horseshoe Bend Boy Scout troops will assemble at public boat ramps around Lake Martin to remove litter from the roadways and shoreline.
The Scouts will meet afterward at the Alexander City boat ramp on Coley Creek for a hot dog cookout sponsored by Marshall Griffin, manager of the Alexander City Alabama Power Co. office.
Thompson said he hopes cleaning up the lake will reach further than the event.
“This is a reminder of how important it is to clean up the lake we all love,” Thompson said. “This is a once a year event. We want to encourage people to get in a habit of picking up trash regularly – trash doesn’t happen just once a year.”
Anyone interested in volunteering for the cleanup effort can contact Thompson at email@example.com or 334-541-2851.