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About SMLA's Lake Cleanup
Keeping trash and debris out the lake
About SMLA's Lake Cleanup

Floating obstacles can be a boater’s worst nightmare. Hitting a tree, piece of lumber, or even a plastic bag can disable or severely damage a boat. Additionally, windblown trash can collect in the coves and on the shorelines.  AEP has the responsibility to remove hazards to navigation in open waters and to remove material that results in adverse aesthetic impacts. They own a floating skimmer that scoops up large quantities of debris, like trees, branches, man-made items like parts of docks along with the trash that mixes in. In 2015, over 790 tons of debris were removed from the lake through the efforts of AEP, their contractors and dedicated volunteers like you.  Due to the difficulty of accessing the hundreds of coves in SML, AEP cannot clear the shallow water coves that usually hold similar items that have been pushed by the prevailing winds towards the ends of these coves. 

Over the years, SMLA and their volunteers, in cooperation with AEP and trash disposal services, have worked diligently to remove these unsightly items enhancing the overall beauty of the lake. The biggest volunteer effort, Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake, occurs the first weekend in May, and has been going on for the last 28 years. In 2015, 297 volunteers, along with many local business sponsors, picked up 43 tons of trash and debris.

Take Pride Website
Join us and Participate in SMLA's Lake Cleanup
Make a difference!
Participate in SMLA's Lake Cleanup

Smith Mountain Lake needs your help! 

OK, technically, Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake needs your help. But you love SML and want to see it stay clean, right? 

Of course you do!

Here's our challenge: After 28 years as a one-day event, Take Pride has transitioned a season-long lake cleanup initiative.

Because change can be difficult (I see you nodding your head), it's critical we spread the word about Take Pride to boost participation and ensure this important community effort is a huge success -- especially in SML's 50th anniversary year!

I promise what I'm asking is quick, easy and pain free! Please read on...

Given the large expanse of SML, it takes the efforts of many people to help keep the lake clean and clear of debris and trash. Use the AEP hotline or weblink at www.smithmt.com to report debris you see on the lake that poses a hazard. AEP logs all reports and responds in a timely fashion to clean up the problem.

What's new?

  • Participants may choose any day (or days) between May 7 and Sept. 5 to clean up the shoreline, lake or both
  • Businesses and organizations may apply for up to $400 reimbursement for the cost of dumpster and landfill fees
  • There's a new website to house all pertinent Take Pride info, including blog posts, links to media coverage and a calendar. Plus, you can download any form you need, including the signup form (hint, hint). 
  • Participants still receive trash bags, gloves and commemorative T-shirt while supplies last
How you can help with just the click of a mouse!

We plan to utilize social media heavily throughout the season. Please help us cast a wider net by:

Other important links

Take Pride in SML website
Registration form, participation form and trash collection report
Dumpster reimbursement guidelines and form
Blog post: Take Pride in SML announces major change [4/5/16]
Blog post: Take Pride in SML announces plan to offset dumpster costs [4/28/16]


Save Our Streams: Reports
Results that matter
Water Safety Council Education Programs
Know safety!
Education at Water Safety Council

Virginia law requires that all operators ages 14 and older of a personal watercraft (PWC - jet ski/seadoo) must receive training either in the form of a boaters' safety course or via a PWC rental provider.  All operators of a boat must also have this training. For more information on this training please click the VDGIF website.

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