Throughout the great Lake Tahoe Basin, there are endless ways to enjoy the pristine waters that make our lake so famous. But what about the Lake bottom?
Thanks to the efforts of “Below the Blue” the debris that flys off boats or are tossed into the lake does not exist like it used to.
This past week there was an excellent press release from the Tahoe Regional Planning agencies about “Below the Blue’s” efforts to clean up the lake, from its lakebed. Here are some highlights that we thought you would enjoy reading today as posted on CarsonNow.com.
Monique Rydel-Fortner and Seth Jones have seen more of what lies underwater at Lake Tahoe than most. Unfortunately, that includes trash and lots of it — from drones, car batteries and sunken boats, to plate glass windows and enormous sheets of metal siding.
For more than a decade, the SCUBA divers and co-founders of the Tahoe-based nonprofit Below the Blue have removed more than 100,000 pounds of foreign objects from the Lake. Over countless dives, one source of submarine trash stands out as persistent but preventable — debris from shoreline building projects.
In cooperation with the League to Save Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the underwater environmentalists are working to stop the illicit practice of using Lake Tahoe as a construction site dumpster.
As noted by the co-founder of Below the Blue, Seth Jones said: “Out of sight is not out of mind.”
And our architect firm in Lake Tahoe completely agrees.
Sure, we have probably dropped our sunglasses off a pier yet to see the junk that they collect on an annual basis is just makes you think: “What were they thinking?”
Unloaded any unwanted items into the Lake is not only ‘not right,” it’s illegal. Steve Sweet, who is the Compliance Code Program Manager at TRPA said it best:
“Discarding material of any kind in Lake Tahoe is illegal and violates the high standard of environmental stewardship in this community. Strengthening the requirements for shoreline construction permits will eliminate these careless and environmentally harmful practices to better protect Lake Tahoe.”
With Earth Day around the corner, we encourage you all to get involved in the variety of initiatives underway to keep Tahoe blue this year, and in years to come. Click into South Tahoe Earth Day to learn more about where and when you can chip in to help in a small or significant way.
James P. Borelli
Lake Tahoe / Truckee