Don Carter State Park participated in Sweep the Hooch, an event organized by the Chattahoochee Riverkeepers to clean up trash from the shorelines of Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River Saturday.
"It's a really cool cause," Nicole, a volunteer at the event said. "It's important we protect our waters all throughout the state, pick up litter, be kinder to our planet and make a difference," she said.
More than 30 volunteers spent their start of the weekend on foot, kayak or boat to help rid the shorelines of trash and debris.
Among some of the items picked up were flip-flops, cans, buckets, gas cans, styrofoam, broken glass and lawn chairs - all items thought to be easily seen but missed by people on the water who may not be focused on the shoreline.
According to Park Manager Steven Emery, Styrofoam (or plastic foam) is one of the worst items found floating along the shoreline, because of the damage it poses to the environment and marine life once it begins to breakdown into tiny pieces.
"Fish will actually eat it, and they can do harm that way," Emery said. "Also, once that stuff starts breaking up, it's almost impossible to get it all," he said.
Combined, the volunteers collected more than 30 bags of trash - none of which could be recycled.
"Unfortunately, the stuff that could have been recycled is so contaminated with dirt, stay in water and all that, so you can't recycle it and it just gets thrown away," Emery said.
This year, 46 different sites participated in Sweep the Hooch, and more than 1,000 people volunteered to help the cause.
Don Carter Park participates in Sweep the Hooch once a year, but the park offers several volunteer opportunities to help with the cleanup, maintenance, and beautification of the 1,300-acre property.
The next large shore sweep will be held in September by the Lake Lanier Association.
To find out more about volunteer opportunities at Don Carter Park, visit their website.