Inaugural Lake Tahoe Litter Summit brings together environmental leaders

Solutions to the litter problem in Tahoe were discussed in break-out groups, then presented.
Provided/ Clean Up the Lake

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The inaugural Lake Tahoe Litter Summit was hosted Thursday, May 18, at the Thunderbird Lodge overlooking the beautiful shores of Lake Tahoe.

The event brought together 50 of Lake Tahoe’s agency leaders and citizens fighting litter in the basin and gave them a common place to discuss the current situation, and solutions that can be implemented to help keep the basin cleaner. 

The summit was hosted by nonprofit Clean Up the Lake, who took a deep dive into the litter problem at Tahoe by collecting more than 25,000 pounds of litter from beneath the surface during a 72-mile circumference cleanup of Lake Tahoe. The agency shared the data with key stakeholders batting the region’s litter issues. 

“I couldn’t be more excited to see our organization taking the results of Lake Tahoe’s 72-mile cleanup, and putting this data in the hands of government and regional leaders who can wok with our team to create significant change,” said CUTL Program Director Sadye Easler. 

The nonprofit’s staff and their consulting scientist, Dr. Zoe Hold, presented the details of their data analysis on the thousands of pounds of litter that was removed from the lake last year. 

Special screenings of the 72 Mile documentary were also held.
Provided/ Clean Up the Lake

In addition, the summit included sneak peak screenings on an environmental feature documentary titled 72 Miles, set to come out in early 2024. There were also presentations of Clean Up the Lake’s data analysis for litter removed from Lake Tahoe, presentations on litter mitigation efforts and concerns, and breakout groups tackling discussions on plausible solutions for littering the basin. 

“The first annual Lake Tahoe Litter Summit was a huge success,” said Chief Strategy Office for the League to Save Lake Tahoe Jesse Patterson. “The conversations and ideas coming out of the first summit lay the groundwork for the next steps to be taken right now.” 

Solutions that were discussed include increasing the face-to-face contact with people when implementing education on the importance of picking up litter, reaching out to youth in order to create better practices  for the future, and creating bilingual and trilingual signage to continue the messaging campaigns to clean up the lake. 

“It’s one thing to perform large scale cleanups in Lake Tahoe and lakes around the world to fix the mistakes of our past, but it represents an even more significant step towards environmental change by using our newfound knowledge to come together and take action now to prevent these issues from happening again in the future,” said Founder/CEO of CUTL Colin West. 

The day concluded with a network event hosted by the Thunderbird Lodge Lake Tahoe and the local brewery Alibi Brewing Company. 

To learn more about Clean Up the Lake, visit

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