Students with Wendy Smith’s Kingsburg Middle School class suggest ways to Keep Tahoe Blue |

Students with Wendy Smith’s Kingsburg Middle School class suggest ways to Keep Tahoe Blue

1. We should increase the wetlands so that all the water is filtered before it reaches the lake. This means quit adding buildings to our wetlands.

2. Keep cattle from grazing on the watersheds of Lake Tahoe, so their wastes do not enter the lake, and do not promote plant growth in the lake.

3. Support Tahoe Regional Planning Agency guidelines. This is the agency that is responsible for improving and maintaining the lake’s clearness.

Mike Hatcher

Dear editor:

In the past few years many people including President Clinton have been trying to help keep Lake Tahoe’s water clear. I have lived in Lake Tahoe all of my life and I would like to see the lake taken care of.

Golf courses are a big problem to the lake because of all the fertilizer they use. Once it goes into the ground, it runs off into the lake. The fertilizer feeds the algae that pollutes the lake. So either they use less fertilizer or find a new product to use on their grass.

I also think more bike trails would be better for the environment because if people used bikes more often there would be less air pollution. Gas stations are also a big problem because the tanks that hold the gas leak, and the gas eventually leaks into the lake, so I think they should fix the tanks.

It would also be nice for people to take some time and landscape their yard because when it rains it causes runoff and it goes into the lake. Instead of using store-bought fertilizer they could use homemade compost, which is better for the lake.

Evan D.

Dear editor:

I think that everyone in Lake Tahoe should follow these rules.

1. Don’t throw trash on the ground. If you do, it will get blown into the lake. You should use trash cans instead. If you use the trash cans, ducks can’t try to eat it. Or, if there are no trash cans where you are, take the trash home.

2. You should take care of the streams. Most of the streams flow right into Lake Tahoe. You can take care of streams by picking up trash near a stream, or by not jumping across a stream. If you do help the streams, it will help the lake. You cannot pollute the streams either.

3. You should get MTBE free gas. MTBE might be good for the air, but it’s not good for the lake. When it gets into the lake it will kill all seaweed. When you kill all of the seaweed the fry won’t eat. If the fry die, in a few years there won’t be any adult fish.

Tim Lipovsky

Dear editor:

I think that there are a lot of things polluting the lake and here are three things that I think will help.

One way to keep Lake Tahoe blue is to try to keep out silt and trash by not littering and not building new buildings all the time. Another way is to prevent the growth of algae by not straightening out the 63 streams and rivers that run into the lake. We can also keep toxic waste out of the lake, for example: Two-stroke engines, and human and animal waste from homes, businesses, and grazing animals. All these things are polluting the lake.

There are a few classes in my school that have adopted some of the creeks around the lake and are continually testing the water. By doing all of these things, hopefully we can keep Tahoe blue.

Kristina Betts

Dear editor:

On June 8, 1999, two days after a visit to South Lake Tahoe-Stateline, Nev., I saw the South Shore of Lake Tahoe and then later I saw my first “Keep Tahoe Blue” sticker. At that moment I felt an inspiration to join the fight against pollution. I personally feel that the people of the states of Nevada and California should join this fight against pollution.

The delicate balance of the lake is disrupted by the pollution. A few ways to keep Tahoe blue are:

Cut down on the usage of huge, fuel-guzzling engines of large rigs like yachts and pleasure cruisers. Don’t leave your belongings on the beach; they float into the lake and pollute it.

To cut down on the amount of algae, do not throw soda cans or cigarette butts into the lake. To help the environment and the lake, put your toxic waste into a tightly-sealed garbage can or large dumpster. Avoid throwing it in the street, where it can float in rain or sprinkler water into the storm drains, because eventually they will all end up in Lake Tahoe and then go into our oceans and pollute our planet.

Karalee Bergeron

Dear editor:

Don’t wait for someone else to keep Lake Tahoe clean. One person can make a difference, and that person could be you. Here are some ideas.

One idea would be to report cars that are smoking. A way to tell if a car is smoking is if there is too much exhaust coming out of the tailpipe. If you see a car that is smoking, please call 686-SMOG.

If you call this number, tell the people what the license plate number is. Then they will be able to contact the owner and have them repair their car.

By doing this, you will prevent pollution from collecting on the blacktop. When pollution collects on the blacktop and it rains or snows, it will run into the lake, which then pollutes the lake.

Here is another idea to make a difference. If you go to the beach, or out in your boat, and plan on eating there, don’t throw your trash on the beach or in the water.

If you throw your trash in the water it could kill the fish or other water animals. Plastic bags could kill the fish if they try to swallow them. Not only could it kill the animals, but it could also pollute the lake.

If you throw your trash on the beach, you could also kill the birds. For example, the plastic rings from six-packs could choke the birds if they stick their heads through them.

In my opinion, one person can do a lot to keep Lake Tahoe clean. If all people cooperate, we can do a lot to keep Lake Tahoe clean.

Charlotte Drumm

Dear editor:

Lake Tahoe is one of the cleanest lakes in the world and people come from all over to see it. But the clarity level has been dropping every year for several years. Here are three ways to help keep Tahoe blue:

Don’t use two-stroke engines in the lake. Doing so lets out gas into the lake, polluting it and making fish die.

Be a streamkeeper. Find out how to get involved and then go do it. Being a streamkeeper checks O.O., p.H., turbidity, velocity and bugs. O.O. is to check how much oxygen is in the stream. p.H. does tests to tell whether the water is too acid, too base, or just right. Velocity checks how fast the creek is going, turbidity tests the clarity of the stream, and bugs is to gather bugs from the stream and find out what kind they are.

Being a streamkeeper may seem useless to the lake, but if you do it to a stream going into the lake, it will help. Our class did this last year and this year.

Vegetation makes the water murky and algae will always grow back. This also doesn’t make swimming very nice and fish don’t like it much either. Vegetation is bad for turbidity, too.

Hannah Harris

Dear editor:

One good way to keep Tahoe blue would be to cut two-stroke motors, because that would keep the oil out of the lake.

Another way to keep Tahoe blue would be to organize a cleanup crew that would go around and pick up trash at beaches, in the water, or just on the highways and streets.

One last way to help would be to walk more instead of driving. If you were going to a store down the street, walk, don’t pollute the air more than you need to.

John Macdonald

Dear editor:

Lake Tahoe is getting dirty. If we don’t do something about that we could have a big problem on our hands. I am sending you three ways that everybody can help our lake.

If you go boating and eat things in wrappers, don’t throw the wrappers away. Put them in a bag or bucket so you don’t pollute the lake. When you are done boating, deposit the trash in your local trash can.

If you don’t have a boat, you can still help. When you go to the beach, try to bring a bag so you can pick up trash if you see it. That way if somebody does happen to litter, you can pick it up for them.

You could also support laws that require motorboats to have yearly emission inspections. If boats don’t pass, their owners have to get a new boat or get it fixed. If you help, we might save the lake.

Matt Andrew

Dear editor:

1. I think a good way to keep Lake Tahoe blue is to adopt a river that flows into Lake Tahoe. In fact, Kingsbury Middle School sixth- and fifth-grade classes have adopted Burke Creek. We just recently went down there to test the water purity and habitat to raise fish in it. It’s a good way to help and have fun.

2. If you’re looking for something simpler to do, I suggest just clean up the trash around the lake. Make sure you clean all your trash as well. My sisters and I made a rule that every time we go to the beach, we pick up at least 10 pieces of trash.

3. Another way to keep Lake Tahoe blue is to limit your water crafting that uses gas and other chemicals that pollute the lake. You could also do something that doesn’t use chemicals such as canoes, rafts, and paddle boats.

Casey Brumbach

Dear editor:

Here are four things you can do to keep Lake Tahoe clean for future generations:

— Don’t dump trash in the water or on the beach. What you do to the surrounding area of the Jewel of the Sierra affects the whole ecosystem. Dump it in designated areas like trash and recycle bins.

— Stop using nonregulated jet skis and other watercraft on the lake. Even a little pollution can do years of damage.

— Don’t pollute even the smallest of streams; all of those run into Lake Tahoe. Even the littlest wrapper can disrupt the fragile system of nature in the Sierra.

— Check all watercraft for oil, petroleum, and other poisons that can kill the local wildlife.

The key to caring for Lake Tahoe is not slapping a “Keep Tahoe Clean” sticker on your car, but to actually care and do your part to keep Tahoe clean forever and for all living things to enjoy.

Jonathan Kaplan

Dear editor:

I, Katrina Kacirek, am a sixth-grader at Kingsbury Middle School. I am very concerned about keeping Lake Tahoe blue. I believe that our entire community must work hard to achieve this goal. If we all work hard on the following three things, we can keep Tahoe blue. This means our land, our water, and our air.

1. Stop creating waste. Waste is something left over or not used, such as garbage, trash, litter, or even broken toys and old automobile tires. We must control our waste by following the three R’s of the environment: reducing, reusing, and recycling. Reducing means using less. Reusing is taking items you would ordinarily throw away and finding ways to use them again. Recycling is processing waste so that we can use it again. Everyone should recycle.

2. Control air pollution. Cars and buses send exhaust fumes into the air. Smoke from burning leaves and factories pollute the air. Pollutants in the air make us sick. Pollutants in the air also poison our water, harm our fish, and kill our wildlife. We must stop burning gas. If Tahoe had more sidewalks we could walk or ride our bikes instead of riding in our cars. If our trip is too far to walk we should use public transportation. We should join carpools and ride with friends. We should let car makers know that we are glad that they are developing cars that run on sources of energy that won’t pollute our air. We must also control indoor air pollution. Let’s all open a window, use environmentally safe cleaning products and ban tobacco. Can we all do this? If not, let’s all plant a tree. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air.

3. Kick buns on water pollution. Tourists come to Lake Tahoe to enjoy the beauty of our blue lake. We must control our watercraft on the lake. Buy a canoe. We must stop dumping chemicals, metals, oil and sewage in our lake. The United States government has passed laws that limit what people can dump into water. We can help keep our lake clean by supporting these laws. Are you a supporter? I am. Are you helping to keep Lake Tahoe blue? I am. By working together, we can make a difference. Just do it! Thanks.

Katrina Kacirek

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