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Final super sweep scheduled
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The Lake Lanier Association’s ongoing cleanup program, "Shore Super Sweep," comes to an end this weekend.

As a last hoorah, four organized cleanups are planned Saturday morning at various locations around the lake.

"Most of these cleanups are being coordinated by residents," said Vicki Barnhorst, executive director of the Lake Lanier Association.

The lake advocacy group started the program late last year as Lanier’s water level was approaching historic lows.

The association sponsors a big lakewide cleanup, Shore Sweep, every September. But as the lake dropped lower, huge amounts of trash were exposed last autumn. So the group came up with the "super" sweep, giving people an opportunity to organize their own cleanups.

Dumpsters were placed at several points around the lake, and free trash bags were made available.

"We’ve had a great response. For the last several months, various small groups have asked, ‘Where can we go to clean up?,’" said Barnhorst, noting that about 30 tons of trash have been removed from Lanier since the program started.

But as of April 15, the Dumpsters will be removed. Barnhorst said the parks and marina operators felt the containers would be in the way once the summer recreation season starts.

The next major cleanup event will be the annual Shore Sweep on Sept. 27, she said.

Saturday, cleanups are scheduled at Flat Creek in Gainesville, Yellow Creek near Murrayville, Holiday Road/Lake Lanier Islands in Buford, and Nix Bridge in Dawsonville.

Starting times range from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Volunteers can call the lake association office, 770-503-7757, to get contact information on the coordinator of each event. Barnhorst said people should check with organizers to make sure the plans haven’t been altered by inclement weather.

Dan Nestor, a resident of the Yellow Creek community in North Hall, said he’s hoping for a good turnout in his neighborhood.

"I’ve been trying to get this done for about six months," he said. "I live on the lake, and it astonished me how much trash I picked up in just a small area."

Even though Lanier is more than 6 feet higher than it was in December, it’s still nearly 14 feet below full pool. There’s still plenty of exposed shoreline, and plenty of trash to be collected.

"We need all the help we can get," Nestor said. "Come by land or by sea."

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