Shore Sweep

Keeping Lake Lanier clean is one of our most important tasks.

A boat tows trash collected from Shore Sweep

Join us for the 35th Annual Shore Sweep on Saturday, September 23rd 2023!

Last year, the 34th annual Shore Sweep was record breaking. Together, with over 1,400 volunteers, we were able to remove 90 tons of trash and debris from the lake we all love.

Let’s do it again in 2023!


Lake Lanier’s shorelines and coves can become littered with trash from those using it as well as being washed in during rain. Every time it rains, stormwater brings trash off roadsides into rivers and streams that make their way into Lake Lanier. LLA coordinates cleanups of Lake Lanier’s shoreline throughout the year with the largest event occurring annually on the last week in September. Over 34 years of Shore Sweep cleanups have removed 2.16 million pounds of trash and debris from Lake Lanier’s shorelines.

Shore Sweep Sites:

Advance Sites These unmanned locations located around the lake allow people to drop off trash for the two weeks prior to Shore Sweep. If you are unable to attend the day of Shore Sweep or you know of more trash than you can collect in one day, the advance sites allow you to help on your schedule. Just be sure that you secure all debris high enough where it will not flow back into Lanier. 

Day-Of Sites – On the day of Shore Sweep, volunteers can bring trash to one of the sites across Lake Lanier. 

Sites listed below and on the map are subject to change for Shore Sweep 2023. Pleases check back for an updated list prior to the cleanup. 

Advance Site Locations:

Shady Grove Park-Beach: 34° 12′ 7.7″ N 84° 2′ 9.3998″ W

Beaver Ruin: 34° 12′ 44.55″ N 84° 3′ 53.6224″ W

Gwinnett Park: 34° 8′ 58.7″ N 84° 2′ 58.9999″ W

Gaines Ferry Island: 34° 11′ 20.5001″ N 83° 59′ 26.3″ W

Beaver Island: 34° 16′ 47.7998″ N 83° 56′ 19.7999″ W

Wahoo Island 2WC: 34° 21′ 49.2001″ N 83° 50′ 29.2999″ W

Nix Bridge Island: 34° 21′ 34.4002″ N 83° 59′ 5.8999″ W

Shore Sweep Day of Sites:

Forsyth County:

  • Bald Ridge Marina
  • Shady Grove-Boat Access Only
  • Port Royale Marina

Dawson County: 

  • War Hill Park
  • Toto Creek Park

Hall County: 

  • Don Carter State Park
  • Laurel Park
  • Holly Park
  • Gainesville Marina
  • Balus Creek Boat Ramp
  • Aqualand Marina
  • Lanier Islands Boat Ramp

Gwinnett County: 

  • Gwinnett Park
Shore Sweep volunteers removing tires from the lake
What could I need?

Here is a basic list of supplies we found useful to have. There will be some limited supplies available at one of the locations above, including trash bags, stakes, etc. This is not a mandatory list, just one put together by volunteers of what they found useful to have.

  • Gloves
  • Rope (to pull floats from beaches back to drop sites)
  • Stakes for floats
  • Sledge hammer (for pounding in stakes)
  • Tarp to keep your boat clean.

Safety first! Please make sure you have life vests, Sunscreen, and water to stay hydrated. Have a first aid kit in case any scrapes or bumps. Also bug spray is a must. DO NOT WEAR FLIP FLOPS. You need a good pair of work shoes, remember there is glass on the beaches.

Annual Shoreline Cleanup

Our annual Shore Sweep event spans the entire lake and averages 140,000 pounds of trash and over 1,000 volunteers annually. But you do not have to wait for this event to help keep our lake clean. Get Involved with cleaning up Lake Lanier’s shorelines – you never know what you will find. Additionally, if you see an area on the lake that has lots of trash, floats and debris please pin drop the location and report it to LLA.

Shore Sweep 2020 Play Video
Types of Trash in and around Lake Lanier
Black Encapsulated Styrofoam Floats

The black floats you see under docks on the lake can come loose and become trash washed up along shorelines and beaches and floating in the lake. Much of what is collected at Shore Sweep are these floats. They are heavy, large and not easy to move or dispose of. During the months leading up to Shore Sweep many of our lake dweller volunteers corral these floats in anticipation of Shore Sweep. We also have people who need additional flotation on their dock who hopefully can find one in the lake that can be recycled for this purpose. The dock builders and repair people are supposed to remove any damaged and unneeded foam from the lake if they repair or replace a dock or flotation.

Trash on Islands and in the Lake

We hope all our 11 million visitors to Lake Lanier clean up during and after being on Lake Lanier and adhere to “leave no trace” practices. Most marinas have dumpsters for their guests to use and no trash should be left on any public lands like islands or parks.  If you are out and see trash, please be kind to your lake and pick it up. No one wants to enjoy a beach in a trash heap.

Abandoned Docks and Boats

Another form of trash in Lake Lanier is abandoned docks and boats. LLA has created the Abandoned Dock and Derelict Vessel initiative to address this issue.

Lake Lanier shore line with boats in the distance
Shore Sweep equipment collecting trash
Did you Know?
Lake Lanier Association was vital in getting a Trash Trap installed on Flat Creek in Gainesville.

The Trash Trap in Flat Creek works hard during rains to stop trash from entering the lake. LLA was instrumental in the traps installation by Hall County and the City of Gainesville.

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