The scuba diving team removed 8,122 pounds of trash from the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe


Divers complete underwater cleanup of the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe; The 72 mile effort continues …

INCLINE VILLAGE, – An extraordinary effort to salvage thousands of pounds of trash from the 72 mile shoreline of Lake Tahoe has reached its first major milestone. A professional and volunteer scuba diving team led by the nonprofit Clean Up The Lake completed the underwater cleanup of the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe, removing 9,281 garbage weighing a total of 8,122 books.

This effort was made possible by a donation of $ 100,000 from the project’s lead sponsor, Tahoe Blue Vodka, 135 Tahoe Fund donors, including Vail Resorts, and other granting foundations.

“Some of the dirtiest places we’ve cleaned up so far include areas like Deadman’s Point full of shipwrecks …”

Colin West, Founder of Clean Up The Lake

So far, divers have traveled 22.55 miles of shoreline since the start of the cleanup effort at Edgewood on the south shore of Lake Tahoe on May 14. While the majority of the waste consisted of plastics that break down over time and impact aquatic species in the lake, bottles, cans, golf balls, tennis balls and other items have also been reported. found. Some of the more unique items recovered include an ID card from the owner of Incline Village dating from the late 1970s, a rubber snake, a geocache box that was last found three years ago by another volunteer diver and a radio player connected to a belt buckle. .

Woman on jet ski picking up trash from Lake Tahoe

Passionate about Lake Tahoe

“Our team of professional and volunteer divers went as much as possible to keep our efforts on track. To date we have completed 27 days of diving, ”said Colin West, Founder and Executive Director of Clean Up The Lake. “Some of the dirtiest places we’ve cleaned up so far include areas like Deadman’s Point full of shipwrecks shattered into hundreds of pieces, parts of the east coast where people tend to hang out and rocks near. from the shore collect aluminum cans, plastic bottles and other trash that get stuck in the rocks for decades. We anticipate that there will be so much more to learn about how trash is distributed beneath Tahoe’s surface as we continue to tour the lake for the rest of this year. “

“The sheer volume of garbage that has been collected in this first part of the shore is incredible,” said Matt Levitt, founder of Tahoe Blue Vodka, whose award-winning spirit is made from the crystal-clear waters of Lake Tahoe. “Every time I dive with the team, I am moved by the value and impact of this unprecedented cleanup effort. I hope this will serve to raise awareness of the negative impact that litter can have on the lake and the ecosystems that inhabit it. From day one, a portion of Tahoe Blue Vodka’s proceeds has gone to support the ongoing efforts of organizations working to protect beautiful Lake Tahoe for the enjoyment of future generations.

The work continues …

Divers will continue the cleanup throughout the summer and fall, and expect to complete the effort in November 2021, weather and conditions permitting.

“Supporting projects like this is at the heart of our mission. It’s amazing how much trash has already surfaced such a short distance, and it’s clear that by the time this effort ends, the positive impact on Lake Tahoe will be significant, ”said Allen Biaggi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tahoe Fund. “This effort really wouldn’t have been possible without the tremendous support of individual and corporate donors who have generously contributed to its realization.

The project was funded by contributions collected by the Tahoe Fund from more than 135 businesses and individuals who donated to the cause, including an initial $ 100,000 match donated by Tahoe Blue Vodka. Additional financial support has come from Vail Resorts, the Nevada Division of Lake Tahoe State Land License Plate Program, and other granting foundations.

Learn more about the project and how to volunteer on dives at


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