Glimpsing at the lake before and after made it clear that their small efforts made a large impact on the environment.
Saturday, Alabama Power sponsored a major project on Lake Eufaula.
The Coast Guard chipped in and led several groups out to different parts of the lake so that most of the water could be cleaned.
Senior Chief Sam Hill, of the U.S. Coast Guard said, "It’s so important to teach young people to not throw trash in the water. One of the best ways to do that is to have them pick up some trash out of the water and that builds the awareness; [the] importance of it.”
Volunteers found a number of unwanted items inside the river during the days clean up.
"We picked up part of an old truck. We found a dump site where people were dumping things like a wash machine," Hill added.
ROTC Student Christopher Guy said, "We found about 70 beer bottles, left over food containers."
Items like fast food wrappers and plastic bottles are found in the water, and many think there is a simple solution to this problem.
Retired School Teacher Betty Griffin said, "It’s very important that everyone helps. If everyone would just pick up, clean up, put containers inside a bag, you know those nice plastic bags you get in the store? Put your trash in there instead of dropping it in our beautiful areas."
Litter thrown into the environment also puts wildlife in danger.
Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Donald Seager said, "We found a deer with a whole bunch of bailing twine tied up in the antler, which tells us the deer could have died from that. Of course, pollution is a big issue.”
Aside from people throwing trash directly into the lake, some of it gets carried from land into the lake after strong storms.
Lake Eufaula is mostly used for fishing and other recreational activities.
After this clean up, the Coast Guard hopes it’s more attractive and enjoyable for families to use.
By the end of the day, two large dumpsters were completely filled; a large amount of garbage for a lake to be holding.