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Lake Maurepas clean-up efforts continue, 40 logs removed

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LIVINGSTON PARISH - It's been four months since a group started the "Lake Maurepas Safe Boating Project." In that time, 40 huge logs have been removed from the waters but, the work is far from over.

“That’s a pretty serious log,” said Clint Cheveallier. “The part you see is not that big, but the log underneath that is 25 feet long.”

Cheveallier has been patrolling Lake Maurepas for months, looking for the dangerous hazards. In March, he and eight other volunteers were able to remove dozens of logs with a barge and crane. But, that costs money.

“It was 65 hours at $150 an hour,” he said.

The community raised nearly $9,000 to do this. While a success, it’s not something the volunteers can continue everyday.

"We have to wait until we get a fair number of them until we get a feasible amount in terms of economics,” said Cheveallier.

Until then, Cheveallier is warning boaters, making it obvious where a log is through the use of buoys. He's even launching a site where others can report where they've found the hazards.

“Hit 'share', it shows it on my computer, and then I can dispatch some of my volunteers to mark it with a buoy,” said Cheveallier.

So far, eight more have been spotted.

"This is dangerous,” said Cheveallier. “I have a 45-foot boat and I hit a log, and it cost thousands of dollars to get fixed. That's a problem. But, the bigger problem, you come through here in a fishing boat with four kids in it and you hit one of these logs going 30 mph, it's a serious issue. It's life-threatening."

The volunteers hope they can raise enough money to remove the logs every six months.

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