Guest column: Get involved and Keep Tahoe Blue

Nick McComas
Guest Column

So far in my life, I have been fortunate enough to experience living in what I believe to be two of the most beautiful places in the world. Not only have I lived in beautiful Kailua Kona, Hawaii, but I have also recently discovered a new beauty, Lake Tahoe, and I am lucky enough to call this place home.

Every place has its ups and downs but as a resident of this beautiful place, I would have to ask you to help Keep Tahoe Blue, and keep it beautiful.

The clarity of Lake Tahoe is arguably one of the biggest reasons why people jump on the opportunity to come here. So preserving the clarity and putting pollution to a halt is of utmost importance.

The Bijou Area Erosion Control Project has assumed responsibility for replacing the Bijou Creek Storm Drain System, which is the largest pollutant to the lake. This project will reduce the amount of sediment particles by 21,000 pounds per year. With more projects like this, and help from everybody, we can continue to reduce the amount of pollutants entering our Lake.

Invasive species can pose as a threat to any lake, so preventing them from entering should be taken very seriously. The Tahoe Boat Inspection Program has done a great job at stopping invasive species from entering our lake. Invasive species come into our lake and compete with our native species, or make it very hard for them to survive.

It is estimated that $22 million per year is spent on preventing invasive species from entering our lake, and just like Ben Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So get out there, and find more ways to help protect our lake from invasive species.

The loss of habitat at Lake Tahoe has been a long and strenuous battle, but everybody can take part in rebuilding and preserving our habitats.

With the approval of the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act, $415 million in federal funding has been allocated to protect our home. This money will help immensely in the Environmental Improvement Program, Invasive Species Management Program, stormwater projects, Lahontan cutthroat trout recovery, as well as wildfire prevention. With this new funding, we have more resources to keep this wonderful place beautiful.

What can you do to help? It doesn’t take much effort to help. Simply picking up a can on the beach can save our lake, so here are five things you can do to help: Donate to organizations that protect the lake; get involved; pick up after yourselves and others; spread awareness; and lastly, love the lake.

The lake we have here is truly an amazing thing, and I would love to get more people inspired and involved to help Keep Tahoe Blue!

Nick McComas is a senior at South Tahoe High School.

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