Lake Tahoe is not only a local treasure for all area residents, but its admirers encompass people throughout Northern California and visitors worldwide.
The gorgeous sky-blue water of Lake Tahoe has long been known for its clarity, yet for years it has been hiding a dirty secret beneath its surface. Thousands of pounds of trash are breaking apart and impacting the lake’s aquatic habitats.
Last summer, a nonprofit group – Clean Up The Lake – sent a dive team into Lake Tahoe to clean up trash. In just 6 miles, they collected over 2,200 pounds. Thanks in part to a generous donation from Vail Resorts, the lake clean-up will be much more extensive in 2021.
The Tahoe Fund recently announced that Vail Resorts has contributed $25,000 in support of its campaign to remove trash around all 72 miles of Lake Tahoe with Clean Up The Lake. The project will be completed by a SCUBA dive team of professionals and volunteers that will begin in Spring 2021. The estimated project cost to clean up Lake Tahoe is $225,000.
Vail Resorts has three ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe region – Heavenly Mountain, Northstar California, Kirkwood Mountain. Generated by $1 guest donations from lift ticket and season pass sales, Vail Resorts made the donation that brings the project closer to meeting a $100,000 match provided by Tahoe Blue Vodka, which has been donating to projects that help protect the lake since its inception. The company’s vodka is made with 100% Lake Tahoe water.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Vail Resorts team for stepping up with such a tremendous contribution to help make this project happen,” said Colin West, founder and executive director of Clean Up The Lake. “This project is showing the power of partnership when we all come together for the love of Lake Tahoe.”
When this project gets underway, a team of divers will work to recover trash that has been accumulating untouched under the surface of the lake for decades. Watch the video HERE.
“Our employees and our guests care deeply about doing what we can to help care for Lake Tahoe and the greater community,” said Deirdra Walsh, vice president and general manager of Northstar. “Supporting this project is not only a terrific way to put funds raised through our guest donation program to work, but it will give our employees an opportunity to volunteer next summer to help with the hands-on cleanup effort.”
The Tahoe Fund was founded in 2010 to work with the private community to support environmental improvement projects that restore lake clarity, enhance outdoor recreation, promote healthier forests, improve transportation and inspire greater stewardship of the region.
“Having the support of Vail Resorts for a project of this magnitude is amazing,” said Amy Berry, Tahoe Fund CEO. “This project started as a grassroots effort that has quickly grown legs, thanks to Tahoe Blue Vodka’s matching donation. Vail Resorts’ donation puts us that much closer to achieving the plan to remove trash around the entirety of Lake Tahoe.”
Visit www.tahoefund.org to learn more about the project and how to volunteer.