Keeping Lake Tahoe beaches clean, safe for Fourth of July |

Keeping Lake Tahoe beaches clean, safe for Fourth of July

Kelsey Penrose |
Cigarette butts are found most frequently in the cleanups of Lake Tahoe beaches.
Claire Cudahy / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Keep Tahoe Red, White & Blue Beach Cleanup

What: Annual beach cleanup

When: July 5, 8:30 a.m.-noon

Where: Commons Beach (Tahoe City); Kings Beach; Kiva Beach; Nevada Beach; Regan Beach

Last year, members of the League to Save Lake Tahoe collected more than 1,676 pounds of trash after the July 4 celebrations over the span of 5 miles of shoreline during the annual “Keep Tahoe Red, White and Blue” beach clean ups.

The best thing people can do to take care of Tahoe is simply to pack in and pack out, and choose reusables over single use items, according to League to Save Lake Tahoe Communications Manager Chris Carney.

“People don’t come to a national treasure like Tahoe intending to litter,” said Carney, “but they often have big families, there’s a lot going on, and it’s hard to keep track of everything. But if they bring reusable bottles, cutlery, Tupperware, etc. they’re far more likely to remember to take it home.”

The most littered item during Independence Day celebrations at the lake are single-use plastics, and cigarette butts — 16,700 of which volunteers have picked up — both of which are non biodegradable and after they begin to break down can be ingested by wildlife, or start to release toxins into the environment and water.

Because of the data collected by volunteers since 2014, the League was able to advocate for the ban of styrofoam from South Lake Tahoe businesses, which goes into affect in October.

“We love hosting the clean-ups,” said Marilee Movius, community engagement manager for the League. “We love seeing residents and visitors coming out the day after to volunteer in helping keep Tahoe pristine and beautiful. We wouldn’t be able to do it without them. It’s a fun day for the whole family, and we provide refreshments and clean up gear.”

This year at the Lake, all cans and bottles are prohibited from public beaches, and people will be searched before and after their visit. Fireworks are also prohibited on all public lands.

At Zephyr Cove Beach Resort and Campground, alcoholic beverages are prohibited between the hours of 10 a.m. and midnight. Anyone found in possession of alcohol outside of designated areas will be subject to a fine up to $5,000.

Nevada Beach has also instituted a no alcohol policy for the Fourth, with a fine up to $1,000 for consuming.

These are in response to many acts of violence and drunkenness experienced on the beaches during the holiday in the past years.

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