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Dec. 11, 2017
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2017 a banner year for Lake Lanier Association

By Pamela A. Keene
 
The past 12 months signaled a banner year for the Lake Lanier Association, its programs and initiatives. In addition to its long-running Shore Sweep, which in 2017 removed record-setting 54 tons of trash and debris from the lake, the group continued work toward its stated mission of “Clean Lake, Full Lake and Safe Lake.” 
 
“Through our abandoned vessels initiative has succeeded in removing the four big abandoned houseboats that were on our list, and we’ve made great progress with our solar lights, island rip-rap protection and other programs,” said Joanna Cloud, executive director of the association.

“Additionally, we’ve been meeting with public officials, including the governor’s office and members of the Georgia General Assembly, to urge them to formulate a state-wide water planning program.” 
 
She said that the association is supporting the statewide plan to address the statewide fresh water supply. “While we’re very pleased with the economic development and population growth in Georgia, a state-wide plan for fresh water to the whole state is definitely needed,” she said. “We hope that the General Assembly will take action by either creating a task force or a committee to address this crucial issue.” 
 
The association has continued to expand its board of directors, adding real estate agent Sheila Davis and long-time Gwinnett County and Dawson County official Mike Berg, who now lives in Dawson County.  
 
In September the association embarked on a marketing and communications study in partnership with Gainesville-based Forum Communications. “This is the first step in our increasing our outreach, growing our members and reaching the public,” said John Barker, LLA board member. “Forum has already gathered a great deal of feedback and input from both members and non-members that will help direct our creation of a marketing and communication plan.”
 
Barker said the research phase of the project was a three-sided approach. “We received more than 200 responses from recreational boat and weekend boaters by polling people at the marinas and other locations,” he said. “We emailed a survey questionnaire to our members that asked about the demographic make-up of the association, input about their perception of the association and the work we have done and received back about 350 responses.”
 
Additionally, the group emailed a survey to some 5,000 dock owners that were not members of the association and received about 300 responses. “In all, we received close to 1,000 responses and have gathered excellent data and information that’s authentic and very helpful as we develop our marketing and communications plan,” Barker said. “We’re looking to use this information to ramp up our communications programs and methods of communicating with members, potential members and the community, and to further focus our message as we become even more active and visible and increase our public profile. We are poised to put this information into action in 2018 to help achieve our mission of ‘Safe, Full and Clean Lake.”
 
For more information about the Lake Lanier Association or to join, visit www.lakelanier.org. Annual memberships start at $50.

Posted online 12/1/17
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