No sea snakes, mobsters, but tahoe garbage divers don’t beat gold

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They found no traces of the mythical sea monster, no signs of bandits in concrete shoes or long-lost treasure chests. But the scuba divers, who spent a year clearing the entire 72-mile-long shoreline of Lake Tahoe, have gotten what they hope to prove a lot more valuable: tons and tons of garbage. In addition to removing 25,000 pounds of underwater debris since last May, divers and volunteers carefully sort and record the types and GPS location of waste. VIDEO ABOVE | Efforts to “Clear the Lake” recover 25,000 pounds of garbage from Lake Tahoe. Dozens of dives that were completed this week were part of the first-of-its-kind attempt to learn more about the source and potential damage caused by plastics and other pollutants to a surface alpine lake on the California-Nevada line. Organizers also took on a journey through the history, folklore and development of a lake on top of the Sierra Nevada that contains enough water to cover all of California by 14 inches in depth. The Vaso tribe fished the Turquoise-Blue Tahoe for centuries before expanding westward in the mid-1800s led railroads, loggers and, eventually, Gatsby-like decadence to what became a platform for the rich and famous. The first Tahoe Casino was built in 1902 by Elias J. “Lucky”. Baldwin, who owned much of eastern Los Angeles and built the beautiful Santa Anita Equestrian Trail in 1907. For decades, there were huge mansions on the shores of the lake, including one that was used to shoot the film “The Godfather II”. The Stars say locals are often asked if they found the remains of the bandits near the north shore. That’s where Frank Sinatra lost his game license for allegedly fraternizing with organized crime bosses at his Cal-Neva casino hotel in the 1960s. The trash found consisted mostly of things like bottles, tires, fishing gear and sunglasses. But Colin West, founder of the nonprofit environmental group that launched the Clean the Lake project, said there were some surprises. Divers think they’ve spotted shipwrecks near Dead Man’s Point, where tribal stories tell of a creature similar to the Loch Ness monster, later dubbed “Tahoe Tessie” – lives under Cave Rock. They also found several “Ban Garbage” signs, engine blocks, lampposts, a diamond ring and “those funny, fake plastic owls sitting on boats to scare away birds,” West said. “It’s shocking to see how much rubbish has accumulated under such an pristine lake,” said Matt Levitt, founder and CEO of Tahoe Blue Vodka, which contributed $ 100,000 to the cleanup. His business – one of many – including hot ls, casinos and ski resorts – depend on more than 15 million people visit each year to enjoy the views described by Mark Twain in “Roughing It” in 1872 as “ the truest picture of the whole earth. ” “It’s our economic engine.” Said Levittus. And although most participants and volunteers were motivated primarily to help beautify the lake, it is what happens when garbage is dumped ashore that fascinates scientists. Coastline cleanup has taken place across the country for years, from Arizona to the Great Lakes, Pennsylvania and Florida. But this garbage is sent to garbage cans and garbage bags for disposal. Each piece of Tahoe’s 189 individual dives to a depth of up to 25 feet was GPS-tagged and carefully divided into categories including plastic, metal and fabric. Plastics are key because international studies are increasingly showing some types can break down into smaller pieces known as microplastics. Scientists are still studying the degree and harm to humans from tiny bits and pieces. But the National Academy of Sciences said in December that the U.S. – the world’s leading producer of plastic waste – should cut plastic production because so much falls into the oceans and waterways. first documented microplastics in Tahoe in 2019. She was the lead author of the Clean Up the Lake 2021 report on a 6-mile pilot project. “If left in place, the degradation of underwater debris continues, especially plastic and rubber, will continue to slowly release microplastics and filters into the blue waters of Lake Tahoe,” Harald writes. The cleanup comes half a century after scientists began measuring the decrease in Tahoe clarity when the pool began to experience explosive growth. The 1960 Winter Olympics near Tahoe City. For the first time in the history of television, he introduced the world to a lake surrounded by snow-capped peaks. Between 1960 and 1980, Tahoe’s population grew from 10,000 to 50,000 to 90,000 in the summer, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The peak of the days is approaching 300,000. “Most of what we are pulling out is largely the result of the human impact of restoring, living and building community here in the Lake Tahoe region,” West said. other Sierra lakes, including Lake Joon east of Yosemite National Park, and expand Tahoe’s future exploration to deeper depths.Tacho’s nonprofit fund, which also helped raise $ 100,000 for cleanup, commissions artists to create a sculpture of Tahoe Soar at the event center which is being built in Stateline, on the south shore of the lake. ” We hope this will inspire more on the environment and remind those who love Lake Tahoe that we all need to take care of it, ”- said Tahoe Foundation CEO Amy Berry.

They found no traces of the mythical sea monster, no signs of bandits in concrete shoes or long-lost treasures.

But the scuba divers, who have been cleaning the entire 72-mile shoreline of Lake Tahoe for a year, have gotten what they hope will be much more valuable: tons and tons of rubbish.

In addition to removing 25,000 pounds of underwater debris since last May, divers and volunteers are carefully sorting and recording the types and GPS location of the waste.

| VIDEO ABOVE | The Clean Lake effort is recovering 25,000 pounds of garbage from Lake Tahoe

Dozens of dives that ended this week were part of the first-of-its-kind attempt to learn more about the source and potential damage caused by plastics and other pollutants in the legendary alpine lake on the California-Nevada line.

It also took organizers on a journey through the history, folklore and development of a lake on top of the Sierra Nevada that contains enough water to cover the entire California 14 inches deep.

The Vaso tribe hunted the turquoise-blue Tahoe for centuries before expanding westward in the mid-1800s led to railroads, forest barons and eventually a decadence similar to Gatsby becoming a platform for the rich and famous.

The first Tahoe Casino was built in 1902 by Elias J. “Lucky” Baldwin, who owned much of eastern Los Angeles and built the beautiful Santa Anita Equestrian Trail in 1907. For decades there have been massive estates on the shores of the lake, including one used to shoot the film. “Godfather II”.

Organizers of the cleanup say locals are often asked if they found the remains of the bandits near the north shore. That’s where Frank Sinatra lost his gaming license for twinning with organized crime bosses in the 1960s at his Cal-Neva casino hotel.

Removed garbage mainly consisted of things like bottles, tires, fishing gear and sunglasses.

But Colin West, founder of the nonprofit environmental group that launched the Clean Up the Lake project, said there were some surprises.

Divers think they noticed shipwrecks near the point of the Dead Man, where tribal stories tell of a creature similar to the Loch Ness monster, later named “Tahoe Tessi”, who lives under the Cave Rock.

They also found several “Don’t litter” signs, engine blocks, lampposts, a diamond ring and “those funny, fake plastic owls sitting on boats to scare away birds,” West said.

“It’s shocking to see how much rubbish has accumulated under such an pristine lake,” said Matt Levitt, founder and CEO of Tahoe Blue Vodka, which contributed $ 100,000 to the cleanup.

His business among many – including hotels, casinos and ski resorts – depends on the more than 15 million people who visit each year to see the view that Mark Twain described in “Roughing It” in 1872 as “the truest picture, which gives the whole earth. ”

“It’s our economic engine,” Levitt said.

And although most participants and volunteers were motivated primarily to help beautify the lake, what happens when garbage is dumped on the shore is fascinating to scientists.

Coastline cleanup has taken place across the country for years, from Arizona to the Great Lakes, Pennsylvania and Florida. But this garbage goes in garbage cans and garbage bags.

Each piece of 189 individual dives at Tahoe to a depth of 25 feet was GPS marked and carefully divided into categories including plastic, metal and fabric.

Plastics are key because international studies are increasingly showing that some types can break down into smaller pieces known as microplastics.

Scientists are still studying the degree and harm to humans from tiny bits and pieces. But the National Academy of Sciences said in December that the U.S. – the world’s leading producer of plastic waste – should cut plastic production because so much falls into the oceans and waterways.

Zoe Harald, a biochemist, led scientists from the Rhino Desert Research Institute, who first documented microplastics in Tahoe in 2019. She was the lead author of the Clean Up the Lake report on the 6-mile pilot project for 2021.

“If left in place, the ongoing degradation of underwater debris, especially plastic and rubber, will continue to slowly throw microplastics and filters into the blue waters of Lake Tahoe,” Harald wrote.

The cleanup comes half a century after scientists began measuring the decrease in Tahoe clarity when the pool began to experience explosive growth.

Most of all the merit, or guilt, is the completion of the interstate system for the 1960 Winter Olympics near Tahoe City. For the first time in the history of television, he introduced the world to a lake surrounded by snow-capped peaks.

Between 1960 and 1980, Tahoe’s population grew from 10,000 to 50,000 to 90,000 in the summer, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Peak days are now approaching 300,000.

“Most of what we pull out is mostly the result of the human impact of rebuilding, living and building community here in the Lake Tahoe region,” West said.

His group plans to dive into other Sierra lakes this year, including June Lake east of Yosemite National Park, and expand Tahoe’s future exploration to deeper depths.

The Tahoe Nonprofit Foundation, which also helped raise $ 100,000 for the cleanup, is commissioning artists to create a sculpture out of Tahoe trash at an event center under construction in Stateline, on the south shore of the lake.

“We hope this inspires more environmental management and reminds those who love Lake Tahoe that we all need to take care of it,” said Tahoe Foundation CEO Amy Berry.

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