JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – As the Tennessee Valley Authority brings Boone Lake water levels back to full pool, volunteers tried to get the lake and its shores clean.
On Saturday, the Boone Lake Association and volunteers braved the rain to keep that trash out of the water through the 22nd Annual Boone Lake Cleanup Day.
“People are very excited to see the water return. However, from the Boone Lake Association’s perspective all of the material that’s been hiding along the shoreline for seven years is now getting washed into the lake,” Val Kosmider, President of the Boone Lake Association said.
Armed with gloves and trash bags, volunteers scattered across six locations by boat and foot.
“The places where you can get on foot, there’s just tons and tons. Literally, tons of trash, just hiding in the vegetation, in the growth,” Kosmider said.
Floating docks and tires were just some of the larger debris pulled from the lake in the cleanup.
Kosmider estimated 15-20 tons of trash were collected. That included 63 tires, 349 trash bags, and 44 Styrofoam blocks.
He also said they even got calls about three houseboats that no one has claimed. They’re working to identify the owners and get them out of the lake before they cause real problems.
The TVA also joined in the effort.
“We have a couple of barges and other boats out here. People will see the work crews going up and down the lake…. I’ve been amazed with some of the volunteers out here, they’re coming out in the boats, they’re carrying all kinds of things they’ve found on the lake, and they’re helping to clean up,” TVA Spokeswoman Mary Ellen Miller said.
Both the Boone Lake Association and TVA plan to continue efforts as the lake is set to reach full pool in July.