Paddling out onto the crystal-clear waters of Lake Tahoe is an amazing way to connect to the environment and the surrounding mountains. It is up to us who venture out to not just enjoy them but to become stewards of them. Here’s a few ways you can help Keep Lake Tahoe Blue.
Leave No Trace
We all love the great outdoors so the highest priority when you head out onto the beautiful glassy water is to remember to “Leave No Trace.” The idea is simple. Leave nature as unchanged as possible by our presence, or better yet, leave things even better than when we came. For example, even if you weren’t the one that littered, if you see a piece of trash, pick it up. For more about the seven principles, check out the Leave No Trace website.
Ride A Bike With A Rack To The Beach
Popularity of Lake Tahoe’s beaches has skyrocketed and as such parking spaces are in high demand. Instead of driving to one of the Lake Tahoe Water Trail trailheads, consider getting a side-rack for your bike cruiser from one of our sponsor shops. You’ll skip the traffic, save some money, and reduce the pollution. And if that wasn’t enough, you’ll get your body warmed up! For more about the paved bike trails in the region, check out the interactive bike map on the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition Website.
Prevent Invasive Species
Aquatic invasive species are attempting to infiltrate and destroy “Big Blue” by unsuspectingly hitching a ride on paddle gear – Yikes! Luckily, visitors AND residents alike can help by joining “Eyes On The Lake.” This League to Save Lake Tahoe volunteer citizen program gives us users a chance to identify and report invasive plants so that the League and TRPA can stop the spread before it’s too late. To help protect Lake Tahoe while you play, head over to the Eye’s On The Lake Program page.
Be A Tahoe Keeper
Just like Smokey Bear with forest fires, YOU can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species or AIS for short. How? By becoming a Tahoe Keeper. It’s simple, just clean, drain, and dry your watercraft & gear every time you haul out or move between bodies of water. In addition, if you do find any plants or debris when cleaning, be sure to dispose of them properly far away from the lake. Like your home trash can. For more on why it’s important and how to properly inspect your gear, check out our Tahoe Keepers page.
Watch Out For Yellow Cress
Last but not least, when you do finally arrive at the beach, be cognizant of where you’re stepping. The valuable shoreline is home to a delicate endangered native plant that only exists on the beaches of Lake Tahoe: The Tahoe Yellow Cress. It’s pretty easy for you to keep these native plants thriving. All you need to do is:
- First, watch your step. Avoid walking on any shoreline vegetation, and keep Fido under control.
- Second, make sure to launch and land your kayak, paddleboard, or any boat away – far far away – from all shoreline vegetation.
- Third, don’t enter the fenced areas to get a better look.
Remember, stewardship is A LOT more than just the “Keep Tahoe Blue” bumper sticker. It’s your commitment to be part of Tahoe culture; to actively participate in conservation every day. If you follow these simple conservation rules, we’ll make sure that these waters can be enjoyed for future generations to come! If you want to learn more about the League To Save Lake Tahoe’s current priorities, check out their page found here.
The Lake Tahoe Water Trail is a Sierra Business Council sustainable recreation tourism project. Learn more about SBC's innovative social, environmental and economic development projects in the Sierra Nevada at www.sierrabusiness.org.