If you like to boat, fish or sightsee at Bay Hill Marina, the Athens resort needs your help.

A group called Friends of the Marina are trying to raise money to build a rock barrier to protect the area from future storm damage.

Their “Save the Harbor” benefit is today from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the marina. There will be music, food and raffles. Cost: $10 adults, $5 children.

In October, a windstorm pushed waves 5- to 6-feet high into the barges that are permanently moored in the harbor to protect the marina. The barges struck boats and docks, damaging them.

“We hope to put something out there besides barges,” said Faye Miracle, who lives next to the marina. “We would put in rock barriers in place of the barges – something waves can’t wash away.”

The project would cost about $250,000, Miracle said. The friends are trying to secure a federal grant to help cover the cost. In the meantime, they are trying to raise money from the public.

Although the marina is privately owned, the public uses the marina for fishing, fishing tournaments and mooring boats. Because the project would be on TVA property – namely the river – the group would have to get a permit from TVA to do the work.

– Jean Cole

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