13th annual Patoka Lake cleanup a success

PATOKA RESERVOIR — The 13th annual Patoka Lake clean up was held on Aug. 24. There were 222 volunteers, including those helping with the event, who were able to rid the lake and surrounding roadways of 3,100 pounds of trash and recyclable items. In addition to 2,600 pounds of trash heading to the landfill, recycled items included three tires and 300 pounds of plastic, aluminum and other metals.

Volunteers picked up litter to help ensure clean drinking water for more than 100,000 Southern Indiana residents and to beautify the shoreline. Volunteers consisted of individuals, families, friends and numerous high school students, scout groups, businesses and organizations utilizing it as a service project.

Volunteers met at the Corps of Engineers facility at the Patoka Lake Dam to sign in at 8 a.m. They met with a conservation officer for safety instructions, were assigned an area of shoreline, received safety supplies, trash bags, recycling bags, water, sunscreen and insect repellant. The volunteers were sent around the entire lake on shorelines, ramps and roadways. Although the high water level made pick up close to the shore more difficult this year, volunteers did their best and brought in an amazing amount of trash. Everyone headed back to the dam at 11 a.m. to be treated to a free fish fry, music, event T-shirts, goody bags and prizes. This year, Middle Patoka Watershed also hosted an education booth to show off the types of miniature life the waterways support.

Patoka Lake Cleanup Day is organized by the Patoka Lake Watershed Steering Committee with assistance from Patoka Lake Regional Water & Sewer District, IDNR/Patoka Lake and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

For more information about the Cleanup Day as well as other events and activities of the Watershed Committee, see the group’s Facebook page or contact Doug Merkel at 812-678-8300 or doug@plrws.net.

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