Eighty-four volunteers from 14 shore-adoption groups removed more than 10,000 pounds of trash from more than 500 miles of Lake of the Ozarks shoreline.

Volunteers expanded their cleanup efforts during Ameren Missouri’s 26th Annual Fall Adopt-the-Shoreline Cleanup, which ran from Sept. 16 – Nov. 5.

Eighty-four volunteers from 14 shore-adoption groups removed more than 10,000 pounds of trash from more than 500 miles of Lake of the Ozarks shoreline.

Modeled after the Adopt-A-Highway Program, the Ameren Missouri Adopt-the-Shoreline Cleanup program encourages volunteer groups and organizations to adopt and clean a section of the shoreline annually.

Each adopting group has the option to schedule cleanup activities during the spring or fall, whenever it is most convenient for volunteers. This flexibility makes it possible for some groups to clean their adopted shoreline in the spring and host a second fall cleanup in an un-adopted area.

"Offering our volunteers a flexible schedule maximizes our cleanup efforts and provides a positive benefit to the lake, its visitors and the surrounding areas," said Ameren Missouri's Bryan Vance, coordinator of the Adopt-the-Shoreline program. "Our volunteers’ willingness to clean un-adopted areas really shows their commitment to making the Lake of the Ozarks a better place."

In the spirit of community investment, former volunteer-of-the-year Gerry Williams donated his boat to Robert and Birgit Ellis for ongoing cleanup efforts in Zone 2. Williams – who has been a leader with the program for 24 years – recently decided to retire from his annual cleanup efforts, but wanted to be sure the work could continue. As a volunteer, Williams organized 61 cleanups that removed almost 1,000 cubic yards of trash from the shoreline.

"Gerry has led the cleanup efforts for the Camdenton Optimist Club and Kent Memorial Lutheran Church for more than two decades,” said Vance. “We are going to miss his leadership; but thanks to his very generous gift, Robert and Birgit are going to keep his cleanup boat moving along the 30 miles of shoreline they annually clean."

Adopt-the-Shoreline is sponsored by Ameren Missouri, which provides administrative support and trash bags and pays for disposal of debris and trash. The program is part of Ameren Missouri's continued commitment to serving as a responsible steward of the Lake of the Ozarks and its surrounding environment.

To learn more, visit AmerenMissouri.com/ATS or contact the Ameren Missouri Shoreline Management Office at 573.365.9252.