Lake Martin Resource Association is in the process of organizing a volunteer effort to remove trash from Lake Martin shorelines as quickly as possible.

Currently an annual cleanup is held in November in conjunction with the annual Alabama Power “Renew our Rivers” effort, but LMRA’s John Thompson said that after seeing some of the trash that accumulated right after the Memorial Day weekend, a quicker response is needed.

After this past Memorial Day weekend, more than 10 large bags of trash were removed from three popular spots near Parker Creek. Other areas such as Dixie Island and Goat Island were reported to have numerous tents pitched with a lot of activity on the beach area. This usually is a good indication that these areas are also heavily trashed. After years of abuse, a boatload of trash was removed from Dixie Island during the 2013 Renew our Rivers annual cleanup.

“Many of the beautiful sandy beaches along undeveloped shorelines are attractive to boaters who enjoy Lake Martin for a day or possibly as an overnight camping spot,” Thompson said. “While most boaters and Lake Martin visitors are appreciative of the wonderful natural beauty and make certain to depart without leaving a trace, there are some who take pleasure in seeing how badly they can trash it up before leaving.”

With a rapid response approach to the removal of trash left behind by those careless individuals, Thompson said the shores of Lake Martin can remain clean and inviting to all who come to enjoy its many pleasures.

LMRA will utilize one of its buoy maintenance boats and will recruit volunteers to accomplish the task. Initially a cleanup would be scheduled each week during the peak boating season.

“While the most popular areas that receive heavy abuse are well known, there may be other areas where LMRA will rely on the boating public to report the location and condition of the littered areas,” Thompson said. “During the clean ups, every effort will be made to identify the abusers with the possibility of turning their names over to the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department to prosecute for criminal littering.” LMRA has a “report a litterer” program, which offers a reward of $250 to anyone who identifies a litterer and the report results in a prosecution and conviction.

Those interested in volunteering or anyone with a report of heavily trashed areas are asked to send an email to jthompson@lmra.info or call 334-399-3289