Dear Editor,

The saying goes, “March winds bring April showers bring May flowers.”

Sometimes maybe, but not this year around Lake Martin. The month of March ended with strong winds, golf ball sized hail, tornadoes and the most rainfall measured in the state of Alabama. More than 7 inches of rain fell over the three-day period. Houses were damaged, trees were downed and tons of debris both organic and non-organic were blown into Lake Martin. 

Instead of the clean, clear waters filling our Treasured Lake, we now have stained water filled with trash. 

Heavy rainfall throughout the entire Lake Martin watershed creates problems for the lake. Roadside ditches containing litter become streams that flow directly into the lake i.e., bridges over State Highway 280, 49 or 63. Elkahatchee Creek has a huge watershed that extends into Coosa County. 

Every year volunteers remove more roadside trash from Elkahatchee Creek and the area below the 280 Bridge than anywhere else on the lake. 

I have heard many individuals make the statement, “You will never be able to control the lake shoreline litter if you don’t keep your surrounding roadsides that make up the Lake Martin watershed litter free.”

Never has it been more apparent than now just how important Lake Martin is — not just to lake homeowners but to all residents in Tallapoosa, Elmore and Coosa counties. An economic study conducted by a very reputable firm a few years back said Lake Martin was “the economic engine” for that three-county area.

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Now as we approach another busy summer, Lake Martin will again come alive with boaters, swimmers, fishermen and many who come to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Unfortunately, we have some cleanup to do.

With the support of Alabama Power Co. (APCO), Russell Marine, Lake Martin Dock, Wind Creek Park and TowBoat Lake Martin, Lake Martin Resource Association will have a Springtime Lake Martin cleanup to remove nonorganic trash, building material, outdoor furniture, roadside litter etc. from the lake and shoreline.

The cleanup lasts from now until April 26. We have bags and pickers available at Ridge Marina, River North Marina, Kowaliga Marina and Real Island Marina. Filled, tied bags can be returned to those marinas for disposal. Large items and bag can be staged at the sandy beach area next to Kowaliga Public Ramp or on a peninsula across from Wind Creek Park 

This is not a job just for a few volunteers who always step forward; it is a job for an entire community that cares. 


— John Thompson, Lake Martin Resource Association