SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — Trash has been a nasty topic for environmentalists up at Lake Tahoe for decades. This summer, locals began protesting floods of visitors leaving trash around the streets and neighborhoods.
Recently, a non-profit decided to step-up and do something about the growing amount of trash, plastics, and micro-plastics that are found below the surface of Lake Tahoe.
'Clean Up the Lake' has recruited teams of scuba divers to dive below area waters to collect trash that harm these ecosystems.
"Sure, the trash above ground is something that needs to be taken care of by , not only government entities but, people who want to keep our area clean. However, that all eventually falls directly into the water," says Colin West, founder and executive director of the Clean Up the Lake.
Thursday morning, more than twenty people on boats, jet-skis and eight individuals in scuba-gear, stretched out along the shores of Nevada Beach near Round Hill to cruise the shoreline in search of trash on Tahoe's surface.
News Four rode in a boat alongside the crews. There were several crews that would dive for under an hour, replace their oxygen tanks, and then dive right back in. Miles Buergin was there and tweeted what was found this morning:
West says his non-profit is expected to dive more than six times within the next few weeks to cover more than the 72 mile stretch around Lake Tahoe. In early July, the same group of divers pulled more than 1,500 pounds of trash from Donner Lake.
"It's easy to see why it's a problem above the surface but this has been going on for decades," says West. "There are some archaeological pieces that other scientists are now using for data and research so we're doing our best to separate garbage from research."
To find out more about Clean Up the Lake, click here.
For any suggestions, questions, or concerns, feel free to reach out to our reporter, Miles Buergin.