Update on the significant progress made regarding Aids to Navigation (AtoN)


Solar Light

As you all know, LLA maintains all 289 solar lights on the lake, and we work to ensure those lights are fully functional year round. Over 100 out of warranty or inoperable lights were replaced this year by LS3, our contractor partner. Due to their great work and your support, we started the busy summer season with a record high number of lights in operation and we will continue to ensure they are fully operational in 2024.

We also replaced 12 channel markers along the Chestatee portion of the lake. LLA, partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE, who provided the green and red marker replacements), and Marine Specialties Inc. (MSI, for unique markings applied to markers and installation) on the project, this work was completed earlier in the year. We will continue an assessment to determine which channel markers are most in need of replacement in 2024.

The USACE, in partnership with the LLA, is dedicated to addressing navigation concerns around Lake Lanier. Over the past year, USACE made substantial progress in replacing missing and damaged Aids to Navigation (AtoN). USACE created six new permanent AtoN locations and deployed temporary buoys at 27 missing AtoN locations awaiting replacements and at 45 low water hazard sites. USACE replaced numerous markers and buoys with new equipment and a fresh style of AtoN. It’s worth noting that, in the past six months alone, USACE initiated and successfully completed 198 new AtoN work orders. Furthermore, in partnership with USACE (who contributed necessary materials), LS3 completed installation for 12 of these AtoN work orders. Where necessary, USACE or LS3 ensures solar lights are replaced as well. This year LLA provided USACE with 60 replacement lights for installations atop missing markers and buoys as those work orders were completed.

Keep in mind, especially at recently low lake levels, many previously ‘safe’ areas become hazardous. Aids to Navigation are designed to alert of potential danger at or near full pool. Rocks and land may be exposed or the water may now only be a few inches deep – even great distances from these markers. As we were wrapping up work for the year, Terry from LS3 said it best – “Stay at least 200 feet away from any marker on the lake. Anywhere you see several markers in a row, NEVER take a boat or other water craft between them. The water is always shallow and particularly dangerous at these levels.”

As of November 14th, 2023, USACE is on track to complete the remaining 12 reported AtoN work orders on Lake Lanier by the end of the year. LS3’s work is fully complete for the 2023. As you can see, through our collective efforts and partnerships, we have accomplished a great deal over the past year. Thank you for your support of LLA and our efforts – we are all Safer for it!


Check out this photo snapped during hazard marker repair!

These rocks are usually 3-4 feet under water when Lake Lanier is at full-pool. This is just one example of why this effort is so important for maintaining a safe Lake Lanier!


If you See Something, Say Something! You can always report issues like hazards and downed markers at www.lakelanier.org!