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The 13th Annual Patoka Lake Clean Up on Saturday, August 24 brought in plenty of volunteers and good weather again this year. An amazing 222 volunteers, including those helping with the event, were able to rid the lake and surrounding roadways of 3,100 pounds of trash and recyclable items. In addition to 2600 pounds of trash heading to the landfill, recycled items included 3 tires and 300 pounds of plastic, aluminum and other metals! Volunteers picked up litter to help ensure clean drinking water for more than 100,000 Southern Indiana residents and to beautify the shoreline. Volunteers consisted of individuals, families, friends, and numerous high school students, scout groups, businesses and organizations utilized it as a service project.

Volunteers swarmed into the Corps of Engineers facility at the Patoka Lake Dam to sign in at 8:00 a.m. on the beautiful, unseasonably cool sunny morning. They then met with a conservation officer for safety instructions, were assigned an area of shoreline, received safety supplies, trash bags, recycling bags, water, sunscreen and insect repellent. The volunteers were sent around the entire lake on shorelines, ramps, and roadways. Although the high water level made pick up close to the shore more difficult this year, volunteers did their best and brought in an amazing amount of trash. At 11 am, everyone headed back to the dam to be treated to a free fish fry, music, event t-shirts, goody bags and prizes. This year, Middle Patoka Watershed also hosted a popular education booth to show off the types of miniature life our waterways support.

Patoka Lake Cleanup Day is organized by the by Patoka Lake Watershed Steering Committee with much assistance from Patoka Lake Regional Water & Sewer District, IDNR/Patoka Lake and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The watershed committee depends on the generosity of local and regional financial sponsors to make their projects a success. For more information about the Cleanup Day as well as other events and activities of the Watershed Committee, please see the group’s Facebook page or contact Doug Merkel at 812.678.8300 or

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