Greener BeeGreen HolidaysLess trash, fewer mishaps reported on Lake Minnetonka over holiday weekend

After one of the rowdiest July 4th holidays on Lake Minnetonka last year, boaters this year ­partied with fewer major mishaps — and left behind less trash.

On Tuesday, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office announced that deputies had responded to fewer serious accidents and alcohol-related medical calls, but did issue more BWI (boating while intoxicated) citations, which authorities said likely was the result of bolstered patrol efforts.

“We made an impact this year,” said Jay Green, one of the leaders of the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District, which helps fund some of the water patrols.

The day after the Fourth, evidence of the weekend’s lake parties was plain on Gabriel Jabbour’s barge. One by one, divers popped above the water of Cruiser’s Cove near Big Island, dropping beer cans and other trash on the marina owner’s barge.

While it was the second year that volunteers have tackled the messy job, it was the first time that four divers from the Sheriff’s Office ­participated, scouring the waters for beer bottles and garbage rather than working at the more somber task of recovering bodies.

The extra cleanup efforts on the metro area’s largest lake came after growing complaints about litter in the aftermath of last year’s July 4th holiday. It seems that word got to the boaters who flocked this weekend to the 14,000-acre lake, because they left behind a little less litter.

Hennepin County Sheriffs Office divers Rich Crosson, left and Rick Rehman placed trash theyd collected in Lake Minnetonka onto a barge. Litter and human waste long have been problems on Minnetonka, but the cleanup for years was left to residents.


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