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May. 21, 2019
10:46 am


30th Shore Sweep breaks records

By Pamela A. Keene
This is one of those statistics that challenge people’s thinking: This year’s Shore Sweep broke all records for the amount of trash collected in its 30th anniversary years, hauling off nearly 70 tons. 
“It’s getting pretty obvious that there’s more trash and the things we’re removing are bigger,” said Bonny Putney, who chairs the Lake Lanier Association’s Shore Sweep and has been involved with the lake clean-up for at least a couple of decades. “This year, some of our sites didn’t even shut down until 6:30 that night.” 
The event attracted a good number of volunteers at 11 collection points, including members of Atlanta’s Boating Club and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. School groups and scout troops also turned out to help. 
Russ Patrick is the new leader of The Tigers of White Oak Elementary School in Sugar Hill. He and his son Jackson, 7 and a first-grader at the school, showed up early at Big Creek Park, where Jackson got a surprise for his community service. The two found a pair of boogie boards on the beach within a few feet of each other.
Jackson proudly carried one of the boards, while his dad carried the other, along with a bag of trash. “This is my first Shore Sweep,” Jackson said. “And look what I found – this boogie board is really in good shape. We can use it at the beach, the pool and the lake.” The other board was tattered and ended up in the discarded trash. 
Jack McClure, leader of Pack 1545 at White Oak Elementary, brought out 15- to 20 young scouts who piled onto the pontoon boat provided by Marine Max. 
Volunteers from the Lake Lanier Association manned the tent with the T-shirts, which participants received when they returned with full trash bags. Most were Shore Sweep veterans, but new to Big Creek. 
Two new sponsors helped at Big Creek – Pootoon, a service that provides mobile pump-outs and head repairs, and Bin There Dump That, specializing in residential dumpster services. Bin There donated many of the dumpsters for the event. 
And Putney’s call-out for a skid-steer at Big Creek was answered by another new company on Lake Lanier. Bay-Assist, owned by brothers Kenneth and John Webb, brought its equipment to assist with moving large objects.
“We just moved the business up here from St. Thomas,” said John. “In fact, we’re still waiting for the container with the majority of our equipment.” Based in Dahlonega, the company specializes in towing, salvage and other marine services.
Putney said that the Shore Sweep committee will be meeting in the coming weeks to plan for the 2019 event. “We’ll be looking ahead at ways that we can continue to improve our lake clean-up,” she said. “And we should have the date for the 2019 Shore Sweep before the end of this year.” 
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Posted online 9/28/18
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