The Norris Lake Project Team will be hosting an “Island Invasion” on this year’s National Public Lands Day, September 27, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Team has conducted a biannual Five County Norris Lake Cleanup in September since 2011 but this year there will be a concentrated focus on the islands in the Loyston Sea area in Anderson and Union Counties and the islands near Lonas Young Park in Campbell County, hence the name “Island Invasion.”
“Since 2011, volunteers from the counties surrounding Norris Lake have picked up over 15 tons of trash,” said
Stephanie Wells, Director of the Anderson County Tourism Council. “We have typically focused on the public launches and State Parks throughout the five counties but this year we want to focus on the islands which are popular camping spots and common places that debris washes up.”
The islands in the Loyston Sea area that the group will invade are Pilot Island, Wood Duck Island, Bear Hole Island and Baker Island. There will be two launch points, Big Ridge State Park and Loyston Point Public Launch, where volunteers can register and get an assigned location.
The launch sites in Campbell County are Lonas Young Park and the free launch on Wells Spring Road.
There will be boats available to shuttle volunteers to and from the islands and barges will be used to transfer the trash back to the shore. However, volunteers are welcome to bring their own boats. All volunteers are encouraged to wear appropriate shoes, preferably boots, bring gloves and bring a life jacket.
Volunteers will be able to trade their trash bags for a free “Island Invader” t-shirt and a free lunch.
“We conduct these cleanups to not only clean up the illegally dumped trash but to also raise public awareness,” said Julie Graham, Executive Director of East Tennessee Quality Growth. “We want to encourage boaters, campers and other users of the lake to dispose of their trash properly and eliminate the need for these cleanups.”
Several agencies and organizations such as the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency and Tennessee Valley Authority will be on hand to educate participants on preservation, conservation, safety, recycling, etc.
The Norris Lake Project Team is a grassroots effort of individuals, organizations, businesses and agencies to preserve the water quality of Norris Lake, conserve the land surrounding the lake and encourage the stakeholders of the lake to do their part in keeping Norris Lake the cleanest and safest recreational asset in Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Grainger and Union Counties.
National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands. In 2013, about 175,000 volunteers worked at 2,237 sites in every state on public lands to remove invasive plants, plant native plants, build and maintain trails and remove over 500 tons of trash.
If you are interested in volunteering, visit www.norrislakeproject.com to register and get more information. Volunteers can also register the morning of September 27th. Please note that minors must be accompanied by an adult and have a registration and release form signed by a parent. You can also call toll free to 800-524-3602 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Norris Lake Project Team is a partnership with the Anderson County Tourism Council, Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, Claiborne County Chamber of Commerce, Grainger County Chamber of Commerce, Union County chamber of Commerce, Norris Lake Marina Association, East Tennessee Quality Growth, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Norris Dam State Park, Big Ridge State Park, Keep Union County Beautiful, Anderson County Litter Grant, Sunset Bay HOA, Hickory Point HOA, Norris Shores HOA, Lone Mountain HOA and Narrow Ridge Earth Literacy Center.