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Lake Sidney Lanier

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Named after the Georgia poet, Lake Sidney Lanier was created by damming the Chattahoochee River in the 1950s. It’s finger-like projections create more than 1,000 km of stunning shoreline, which are visited by somewhere in the region of 10 million people each year. They come to sail across its waters, try their hand at water sports including jet skiing, and enjoy the white sand beaches of the resort and waterpark. During the winter months, the islands in the lake are decorated with about 6 miles of Christmas lights, which together form the largest animated lightshow in the world. A drive through display of the lights incorporates a Christmas village, amusement rides, and live nativity scene.

Nestled in the foothills of the Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains lies Lake Sidney Lanier, one of Americas favorite lakes. Well known for its recreational opportunities, Lake Lanier hosts more than 11.8 million people annually. Lake Lanier has 76 recreational areas, including 40 Corps-operated parks and campgrounds, 10 marinas, and Lake Lanier Islands. The remaining areas are leased to local governments or other organizations. With more than 690 miles of shoreline, the lake is well known for its aqua-blue colored water, spectacular scenery and unique recreational activities. Constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s, Lake Lanier is a multi-purpose lake that is authorized for flood protection, power production, water supply, navigation, recreation and fish and wildlife management.

Lake Lanier (officially Lake Sidney Lanier) is a reservoir in the northern portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. It was created by the completion of Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River in 1956, and is also fed by the waters of the Chestatee River. The lake encompasses 38,000 acres (150 km2) or 59 square miles (150 km2) of water, and 692 miles (1,114 km) of shoreline at normal level, a “full pool” of 1,071 feet (326 m) above mean sea level and the exact shoreline varies by resolution according to the coastline paradox. Named for Confederate Army poet Sidney Lanier, it was built and is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and water supplies. Its construction destroyed more than 50,000 acres (20,000 ha) of farmland and displaced more than 250 families, 15 businesses, and relocated 20 cemeteries along with their corpses in the process. It is patrolled by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR), as well as local law enforcement. The states of Georgia, Alabama and Florida all have rights to the water of the reservoir, as it feeds rivers going through those areas. The Corps of Engineers has responsibilities to regulate flow for flood control and water use. In addition, it has to ensure that water is available to fulfill such federal mandates as under the Endangered Species Act, to support downstream species. The rapid suburbanization of the Atlanta region, in particular, has greatly increased water consumption by private homeowners for lawns and gardens. During droughts of the 21st century, Lake Lanier reached record lows, and regional actions have been needed to reduce area water usage.

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