How does the League to Save Lake Tahoe do outreach with the community?
While most people know us from our ‘Keep Tahoe Blue’ stickers, we are actually the oldest and largest organization dedicated solely to preserving and protecting the health and beauty of Lake Tahoe.
Community engagement is a central focus of our work to Keep Tahoe Blue. In addition to engaging local businesses and educating area students, we have several ‘citizen science’ programs where we train volunteers – both year-round residents and visitors – to gather stormwater pollution data and report infestations of aquatic invasive weeds. We use a smartphone app that allows our volunteers to protect while they play. It’s really a win-win. Their work helps us respond quickly to stop pollution, weeds and other trouble-makers from degrading Tahoe’s water clarity.
We also offer dozens of volunteer events throughout the year to restore critical natural habitat and clean up the shoreline. In 2019 alone, over 1,100 of our volunteers scoured over 117 miles of Tahoe’s watershed and removed 8,000 pounds of trash!
Can you tell us successful accomplishments the organization has had?
The League was founded in 1957 in response to a plan that would have brought a San Francisco-sized population to the Tahoe Basin. Think of high rise buildings on every shore with a four-lane highway encircling the Lake. Basically, Tahoe could have been a city with a hole in the middle. Our first victory was stopping what would have been the linchpin of that highway system – a bridge over the mouth of iconic Emerald Bay.
Since then, we’ve put a stop to bad development that was wrecking the Lake, and helped put in place legal safeguards to ensure Tahoe’s forests, streams and water bodies are protected from pollution and urbanization. We also helped spearhead an effort that has unlocked more than $2 billion dollars in funding to protect and restore Tahoe’s environment.
What are some goals the organization has going forward?
Fortunately, our mission is very simple and consistent. Just as it’s been since we were founded in 1957, our goal is to Keep Tahoe Blue. Over time, the threats to the Lake will change, but our commitment to protecting Tahoe will not.
If people want to donate, learn more, or participate with the League to Save Lake Tahoe where should they go?
Visit our website, keeptahoeblue.org. There they can donate, become a member, find a volunteer event, subscribe to our newsletter or simply learn about all the little things they can do to help Keep Tahoe Blue.