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Keep the Midlands Beautiful Lakeside Litter Sweep on Lake Murray a Huge Success!

Lake Murray, SC 09/25/2021 - Keep the Midlands Beautiful 2021 Lakeside Litter Sweep event held on Saturday, September 18th from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. was a huge success!  

A total of 242 volunteers and support personnel removed litter and recyclables from Lake Murray’s shorelines, boat ramps, parks, islands, and even from underwater. The event was held in conjunction with South Carolina’s “Beach Sweep, River Sweep” day.  These hard-working volunteers removed a total of 5758 pounds of litter from the shores and below the surface of over 27 islands and 10 boat landings, parks, and neighborhoods.  In addition to general litter such as bottles and cans, they also took away additional items such as damaged buoys, rusted grills, umbrellas, chairs, make-shift toilets, dock debris, and more, as well as large, heavy items that will be hauled later including a refrigerator, a broken tent, and two trampolines!  

Area businesses and organizations donated over $1700 in prizes that will be awarded to KMB’s youngest volunteer, a seven year old boy, and the oldest who is a 77.5 year young lady.  A 4-person local dive team collected the most trash, 1056 pounds of underwater litter near Spence Islands, and 64 Wateree Dive Center divers and support personnel collected 630 pounds of trash at the site of a former lakeside restaurant.  Another 4-person group collected 16 bags of trash and 3 bags of recyclables. We had a 3-way tie for the most unusual item: a homemade port-a-potty, two trampolines, and a scarecrow and refrigerator. In addition, all volunteers are eligible for random drawings for 14 additional prizes; winners will be notified in the coming days. 

This was truly a community event! We had families, individuals, grandparents with grandchildren, and groups come out and travel to islands by shuttle boat services donated by area boat rental companies and people in their own boats, as well as landlubbers who chose to pick up litter along the shoreline. Volunteers returned to one of three check-in stations to enjoy lunch provided by a lakeside restaurant and receive an event t-shirt. KMB could not organize such a huge event alone; we appreciate the dedication, collaboration, and substantial contributions of over 20 community organizations, government agencies, and businesses.

KMB is seeking individuals and groups to make a long-term commitment to maintaining Lake Murray by adopting an island or boat ramp through the Adopt-A-Waterway program.  Research shows that when people see litter in a particular area, they are more likely to add litter to that area.  Clean-up events like these are therefore very important.  We encourage volunteers to continue to support our efforts to keep Lexington and Richland counties clean, green and beautiful year-round.  Learn more about what we do, how we do it, and how you can help at 

About Keep the Midlands Beautiful

Established as an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful in 1989 to serve Richland and Lexington Counties, the mission of Keep the Midlands Beautiful is to engage, inspire and educate the Midlands to invest in our community through litter prevention, recycling, and beautification.

Each year, thousands of Midlands residents volunteer to support this mission, including over 250 groups regularly removing litter on area roads and waterways, schools and businesses coming together to implement recycling programs, and communities pursuing beautification projects.


Laura Blake-Orr Core Programs Administrator Keep the Midlands Beautiful 1305 Augusta Rd. West Columbia, SC 29169 803-733-1139


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