Divers have embarked on a mission to eradicate invasive plant species from the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe, announced the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) on Monday.
TRPA revealed that last year, a substantial infestation of Eurasian watermilfoil, spanning one-and-a-half acres, was identified in the breathtaking Emerald Bay region.
The removal operation, which commenced on Monday and is set to continue until September 22, involves divers diligently “suctioning and hand pulling” the invasive plants. The TRPA issued a call for boaters to exercise vigilance and be watchful for workers diligently toiling beneath the water’s surface.
“This popular area attracts boaters from around the lake, and the underwater California State
Park is under constant threat of reintroduction,” said Courtney Rowe, Senior Environmental
Scientist with California State Parks. “When boats bring fragments of Eurasian watermilfoil from
other parts of the lake, they can quickly become an infestation without ongoing monitoring and
Approximately a decade ago, TRPA treated six acres within Emerald Bay to combat aquatic weeds. Since then, the area has been subjected to annual surveillance to monitor the presence of invasive plant species.
The TRPA stressed that if these noxious weeds are not promptly removed, they could severely impact water quality and disrupt the delicate balance of aquatic ecosystems in the region.
Funding for this vital plant removal initiative has been sourced from the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act and the Tahoe Fund.
“Lake clarity is at the center of what makes Tahoe iconic, and improving this famed clarity is a major priority for the Tahoe Fund,” said Amy Berry, CEO of the Tahoe Fund. “We were pleased to provide $50,000 for the removal of these weeds in Emerald Bay and will continue to support aquatic invasive species removal efforts that positively impact the health of our lake.”
Efforts to safeguard the ecological health and pristine beauty of Lake Tahoe remain a top priority for environmental preservationists and agencies like TRPA.