Keep Lake Tahoe’s South Shore clean this holiday weekend
Thousands of people trek to Tahoe every year for Fourth of July festivities. The influx of activity unfortunately also brings an increase in garbage and litter, which can impact lake clarity and attract wildlife — particularly bears.
“If there are food remnants on single-use plastic, animals will eat it. It’s disheartening to see bear scat with plastic in it,” the League’s community engagement manager Marilee Movius said.
With the help of sponsors, League to Save Lake Tahoe is the driving force behind many waterfront cleanups, the largest of which occurs annually on Tuesday, July 5. This year beginning at 8:30 a.m., League staff and volunteers of all ages will be at five lake-wide locations, cleaning up trash from the weekend. Destinations include Kiva/Taylor Creek Beach and Regan Beach on the South Shore, Nevada Beach on the East Shore, and Kings Beach and Commons Beach on the North Shore. Each beach cleanup focuses on removing waste left from Fourth of July celebrations while promoting lake clarity advocacy, education and collaboration in a solutions-oriented approach.
“We want to inspire people so they want to stay involved, be in it for the long haul and be proactive,” Movius said.
According to League to Save Lake Tahoe, a main goal of the annual cleanup is education regarding reduction in single-use plastic, which includes items such as plastic utensils and straws, among others used once and thrown away. Apart from plastic, cigarette butts are a large segment of beach waste — and neither are biodegradable.
After beach cleanups, League to Save Lake Tahoe staff collects data, including the number and weight of items collected from all five locations, in order to develop trash-reduction solutions. For example, throughout last season’s culmination of cleanups, approximately 15,000 cigarette butts were picked up. The League is now developing canister prototypes to install in the community in order to deter cigarette butt waste.
“People absentmindedly drop cigarette butts, but then hear the number we collected and become more conscious of it,” League to Save Lake Tahoe’s communications manager Chris Carney said.
In addition to beach cleanups, League to Save Lake Tahoe holds other events throughout the summer, including Eyes on the Lake training, which teaches people how to identify aquatic invasive species. Citizen science programs engage the community in caring about the lake.
“The cleanups are a great gateway to our other programs,” Movius said. “It enables people through the event to make a difference.”
For more information or to register for the Keep Tahoe Red, White and Blue beach cleanup, visit http://www.keeptahoeblue.org/july5. To see the League’s other upcoming events, visit http://www.keeptahoeblue.org/news/events.