Residents help need in coastal cleanup |

Residents help need in coastal cleanup

by Andy Bourelle

Just because Lake Tahoe is not on the coast, does not mean local residents cannot participate in California Coastal Cleanup Day.

On Sept. 19, thousands of volunteers throughout California will participate in the annual effort. The cleanup’s El Dorado County coordinator, Mike Dape, is asking Lake Tahoe residents to join him on the basin’s beaches, river ways and other areas.

“The basic philosophy now is all trash ends up in our water systems,” Dape said. “If its washed into a storm drain, it’s still a problem. We’re concerned with all litter.”

This is the 14th year for the California Coastal Cleanup Day. Lake Tahoe has participated since 1990.

The cleanup effort is always held on the third Saturday in September, and last year throughout California 50,000 volunteers collected 700,000 pounds of trash and recyclable materials from 600 sites, including beaches, bays, rivers, parks and lakes.

Last year at Lake Tahoe, 159 volunteers gathered 808 pounds of trash and 344 pounds of recyclable materials.

About 140 people, including two dive teams, already have indicated interest in participation this year.

“We can always use more volunteers,” Dape said.

Work is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon. Gloves and bags will be provided. The effort’s primary sponsor, Brita Water Filtration Systems, is giving away a coupon for a free water filter to all volunteers.

Dape said people participate to try to help the environment.

“It’s always nice to get out there and make an effort before fall to clean everything up,” he said. “Everyone feels good about being stewards of the environment. I think it’s a real successful endeavor.”

The cleanup day is organized by the California Coastal Commission. The California program is part of an international cleanup effort which takes place in almost all 50 states and 90 countries.

The goal behind the effort is to encourage people to clean up their beaches and waterways and to raise awareness about the connection between inland pollution and the ocean.

Residents interested in volunteering for the California Coastal Cleanup Day local effort should contact Mike Dape at (530) 577-3101 or the Clean Tahoe Program at (530) 544-4210.

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