Letter: More needs to be done to protect Tahoe


To the community,

On June 13, scientists with the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center released their report on Lake Tahoe’s average water clarity for 2017. Their finding of an average of 59.7 feet depth of clarity is the lowest since they began taking measurements in the 1960s.

The record-level low for Lake Tahoe’s clarity is alarming news. That said, it’s not surprising, considering how much the Lake has been warming in recent years. Tahoe has also been experiencing more frequent extreme weather conditions, which may be the new normal at Lake Tahoe as our climate changes.

Global warming is expected to make extreme weather fluctuations more common at Tahoe. Also, in the past four years, Lake Tahoe’s water has been warming at 10 times its historic trend.

It’s more important than ever that we continue the efforts to protect the national treasure that is Lake Tahoe. It’s critical that Tahoe continue to get public funding to restore the ecological functions of the Tahoe basin’s wetlands, meadows and forests that strengthen the Lake’s resiliency. Sources of pollution, particularly fine sediment pollution from the Tahoe basin’s roads and urban areas, must continue to be addressed.

Lake Tahoe can’t protect itself. There’s a role for everyone in this. Now is the time for people who love Tahoe to get involved, no matter where they live. As Tahoe’s oldest and largest environmental watchdog, we’re in it for the long haul.

Through advocating for the protections Tahoe needs, educating and engaging the public about how they can protect the lake, and by collaborating to find solutions to these challenges, we will Keep Tahoe Blue.

Jesse Patterson, deputy director League to Save Lake Tahoe

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    Comments (1)
    1. Mansoor Elie Alyeshmerni says - Posted: June 14, 2018

      The League has been the strongest advocate for the welfare of the lake and should be supported by all.
      The clarity level is the worst recorded ever. But the report makes it clear that it is subject to very unusual conditions in 2017 that makes it very unlikely for us to see this disturbing level anytime soon. What they report as unusual is a 300% level of moisture compared to usual years after a significant period of drought bringing a huge amount of Stormwater runoff into the lake causing significant turbidity. Other factors are mentioned as well.
      It was nature that did this temporary damage. What we can do is make sure we process runoffs into the lake. Are we doing enough? I doubt it. We measure a lot but remediate very little.

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