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Watauga Lake Cleanup effort is this Saturday

“Our Community Gives Back,” an organization of people who live on and/or use Watauga Lake, has organized the First Annual Watauga Lake Cleanup on Saturday, June 26. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. at Sugar Grove Baptist Church on Sugar Grove Road, Butler and Fish Springs Marina, 191 Fish Springs Road, Hampton. Volunteers will be scanning the waterways and the shoreline across the full expanse of the lake in both Johnson and Carter counties.
Volunteers should officially register and pick up gloves and TVA supplied trash bags at the registration locations, according to Mary Salter, one of the event organizers.
“This is the first volunteer lake cleanup to stretch the full extent of the lake in many years,” said Salter. “The lake not only serves area residents and the local community; it serves as a tourist destination for folks from all over the southeast. It is our goal to keep the lake pristine and always make a great first impression for our out-of-town guests.” Salter said.
Watauga Lake is an economic lifeline for both Carter and Johnson Counties according to Thomas White, Fish Springs Marina owner and a sponsor of this year’s event.
“We do annual surveys at our facility and realize the economic impact the lake has on the region. According to our data, a tremendous amount of visitors come from North Carolina, but the major influx of tourism comes from south Florida. Watauga Lake is truly a regional tourist destination”, White said. “We live here, we work here and we entertain the multitudes of visitors who vacation here. I’m excited to see so much community support for the lake cleanup. It’s all volunteer, and it benefits everyone in the region,” White said.
Trash drop off dumpsters will be located at Fish Springs Marina and Pioneer Landing. A floating trash barge will be located in the middle of the lake. Trash can be dropped off at these locations from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
There will be a celebration party following clean up in the field next to Sugar Grove Baptist Church beginning at 2:30 p.m. The celebration picnic is accessible from both land and water. Volunteers will be given an admission wristband for the picnic upon delivery of trash at the drop-off locations. There will be food, music and prizes all donated by local and regional businesses, as well as civic-minded citizens. Door prize drawings will be held at the picnic and you must be present to win. Prizes include but are not limited to water toys, boat accessories, shirts, hats, free boat rental, vacation lodging and a grand prize of $200 in cash. No one will be admitted to the celebration picnic without a wristband. A door prize raffle ticket will be given for each bag of trash collected.
Watauga Lake is about five miles east of Elizabethton, Tennessee.  It is a TVA electric generating facility capable of producing 57,600 kilowatts. The reservoir extends 16.7 miles above the dam and provides 152,829 acre-feet of storage capacity. Construction of Watauga started on February 16, 1942, but the War Production Board ordered work stopped in October because it was considered nonessential to the war effort. Construction on Watauga resumed July 22, 1946, and the dam was completed on December 1, 1948.  Water levels on Watauga vary only about nine feet in normal years to provide for seasonal flood storage and for the augmentation of flows of water during other seasons. It forms a long, slender body of water extending in an easterly direction from the dam, and it has a shoreline of approximately 109 miles.
For information contact: Mary Salter 423-768-0363 or Deb Rolleri: 423-768 1160. Additional information can also be found on the web at