Long-term economic impact of TCES explored
The benefits of the new Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences could reach far beyond the basin scientists and researchers are there to study and protect.
Bill Hoffman of the Incline Village/Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau, at an opening reception Thursday night, said the protection of the basin’s ecology will not only preserve the area for generations to come, but grow the economy as well.
“I don’t think we’ve been successful in expressing how important and how delicate that (our environment) is to tourists and visitors,” Hoffman said. “There are very few lakes in the U.S. that are as pristine as this, and some people just don’t understand how to keep it this way.”
The center’s educational impact on the younger generation may prove to have positive future implications as well.
“Today is a day of discovery for all of you,” Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Executive Director John Singlaub told elementary school students Thursday. “Listen, learn and try to come away with some things that you can do to help the lake.
“Everyone has a role to play to preserve Lake Tahoe.”
Children won’t be the only ones who can learn from the center, officials said.
“There will be a lot of demand for tourists and residents alike to tour that building,” visitors bureau director Hoffman said. “Two elements that are intriguing (to visitors) will be the ‘green’ building itself and the display of how (researchers) collect and analyze data.”
Indeed, the building may be the first of its kind to receive the LEED Platinum certification, the highest eco-rating a building can garner.
The lessons in collaboration, however, have already been learned by many:
“More than 400 individuals, corporations and foundations have supported this project with more than $13 million in donations,” said UC Davis chancellor Larry Vanderhoef.
And the implications are as far-reaching as the hopes partners Sierra Nevada College, UC Davis and Desert Research Institute have for the work yet to be completed.
“The science center is going to be so important for community education for the future,” said TRPA spokeswoman Julie Regan. “We’ll be able to grow more industry in terms of jobs for (protecting Lake Tahoe) in the future.”