Lake Lanier's Largest Shoreline Cleanup
Shore Sweep Returns Saturday, September 23rd!
Throughout the past 34 years of Shore Sweep cleanups, a total of 2.16 million pounds of trash have been removed from Lake Lanier. Last year, at the 2022 event, 90 tons was removed at the hands of over 1,400 volunteers. This community wide event is not only a labor of love – it is essential to keeping Lanier clean for all to enjoy. Click the link below to register.
Join us on September 23rd 8am-1pm for the 35th Annual Shore Sweep!
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. The advance sites allow you to participate in the cleanup on your schedule. Just be sure that you secure all debris high enough where it will not flow back into Lanier. The 2023 Advance Sites open on Saturday, September 9th and close at sundown on Friday, September 22nd.
Day-Of Sites – On the day of Shore Sweep, volunteers can bring trash to one of the sites across Lake Lanier. This is a drop in event, pick up trash on your way to the site for drop off, pick up your supplies first then head out to clean, or do a combination of the two. Come by foot or boat! All sites will be open 8am-1pm for the 2023 Shore Sweep.
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
- Bald Ridge Marina
- Shady Grove-Boat Access Only
- Port Royale Marina
- War Hill Park
- Toto Creek Park
- Don Carter State Park
- Laurel Park
- Holly Park
- Gainesville Marina
- Balus Creek Boat Ramp
- Aqualand Marina
- Lanier Islands Boat Ramp
- Gwinnett Park
While not mandatory, here is a basic list of supplies we found useful to have. There will be limited supplies available at each of the “Day of Shore Sweep” Sites – including trash bags, stakes, etc. This is not a mandatory list, just a list of supplies put together by volunteers of what they found useful to have!
- Trash bags
- 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. A good pair of work shoes is highly recommended – remember there is glass on the beaches.
Shore Sweep is a community wide event and would not be possible without our sponsors!
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 anytime of the year – 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.
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 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.