Percy Priest Lake Is Full of Trash

The littered plight of Percy Priest Lake has been in the news this week. Another clean up is scheduled for September 13, but the problem is too large to be solved in a day.

Yesterday, my husband and I were walking at Radnor Lake, one of our favorite places to hike in Nashville. When I brought up the trash situation at Percy Priest Lake, John suggested that Percy Priest should become no access to gas-powered watercraft or campers to control the litter problem. Radnor Lake is treated like a sanctuary with no boating except ranger-sponsored canoe rides. There is no camping or picnicking. Dogs aren’t allowed on the trails around the lake, as deer and other wildlife are plentiful there. Yesterday, we saw an otter by the road and a doe and her fawn on the trail. I cradled a millipede and moved it off the roadway so that it wouldn’t be crushed by hikers, strollers or dogs.

For many years now, Percy Priest Lake has been geared toward recreational water sports, including boating, jet skiing, fishing, swimming and camping. It has become a trash dump. This is a hazard to wildlife and to us, as polluted water makes its way into our drinking water supply.

I suggest that every boater bring a bag or two of litter off the lake and its islands each time that they enjoy the water. Today, the Nashville Clean Water Project is taking responsibility for cleaning up the lake, but it’s the responsibility of each of us to do our part. The groups who want to protect their usage of the lake for water fun need to step up to clean the lake and to keep it clean.

7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Teresa said,

    I too am completely disgusted by the trash on Percy Priest. My husband and I camp on the islands frequently in the summer. We spend at least 45 minutes cleaning up the old trash on the island, just so it does not look like a landfill next to our campsite. We will drive by other islands and notice the huge amounts of trash left behind and whenever possible, clean up as much as we can. I do not think however, that restricting campers is the answer. Why not make campers register? They have to give a name and perhaps a credit card number to camp. This is not an uncommon thing at campgrounds. Then, when they do not clean up their mess, they not only get a fine, but also pay for the cleanup? Or, can the Core of Engineers not simply drive by and get the licence number off of the boat so they can find out who left all of the trash? I think it is a wonderful thing that you can camp on the islands, however, the trash situation needs to be addressed in a BIG way. Make campers register, that’s my answer.

  2. 2

    planettrash said,

    Good idea to register to camp.

  3. 3

    tes said,

    Thats a great Idea, this summer I went camping with some friends and actaully nick named a trail we walked on S%IT trail.. the name says it all…
    They should also invest in those water bathrooms… I have seem them on a lake in CA. at lease there are those who care about the enviorment

  4. 4

    gary Tsangas said,

    I also think one of the solutions to the trash problem on Percy Priest Lake is having campers register so they can be held accountable for leaving trash behind. However, I think campers are only part of the problem. I am sure that many of the trash offenders never camp, and throw trash directly from their boats. This trash either sinks to the bottom or eventualy floats to shore, in either case causing a huge pollution problem.
    Registration for camping, strong educational efforts, like television commercials, pamphlets, signs around the lake at Marinas concerning taking your trash with you and fines for dumping trash, and strick, and I mean strick, fines for any trash offenders that can be identified, will be the combined solution to solve this problem. This lake is a great place and it is a crying shame, and an embarressment for all of Nashville and everyone that lives here in this area that all the trash in and around the lake is such an eyesore.

  5. 5

    Jason said,

    I moved from Canada to Nashville and the trash that pollutes your parks, even the volume in the ditches around the road pretty much everywhere, is shockingly base and de-humanising. I think that the lowest common denominator in America, sadly, lives which so much enititlement that to rape the last remenents of the goodness of the earth is only a trite symptom of a much deeper problem, the trash of the soul.

  6. 7

    Gary Tsangas said,

    Jason, please!!!! Some people, here in the United States and in Canada are simply just slobs….it is not some sort of national psyche that is based in some sense of entitlement!!!!! Simply, some people just dont give a shit about other people. The main problem with Percy Priest is that it is so close to a major city!!!!!!!!!

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