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Ahead of Earth Day, group celebrates Nevada side of Lake Tahoe clean-up effort

AP Photo/Scott Sonner

This photo taken Oct. 20, 2021 shows Emerald Bay's mouth to Lake Tahoe.

Ahead of this year’s Earth Day, staff and volunteers with the group " Clean Up the Lake" were joined Monday by Governor Sisolak to celebrate the completion of an initiative to remove underwater trash and debris from near-shore areas across the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.

Over several months, a scuba team has removed some 18,000 pounds of trash, including thousands of bottles and cans, and hundreds of tires from the water.

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As of this publication, CUTL reported having cleaned up 43 miles and 21,091 pieces of litter with 128 total dives. The effort has so far taken 106 volunteers and 3,856 volunteer hours to date.

“I applaud all public and private partners working together to advance Clean up the Lake’s project to help keep Lake Tahoe clean, healthy, and vibrant for generations to come,” said Sisolak in a media release.

“As highlighted by this year’s Earth Day theme, such cross-cutting collaboration and collective investments in our natural environment are more pressing than ever, considering the widespread impacts of climate change and the ever-increasing demand for outdoor recreation. I’m grateful for the many conservation champions in Lake Tahoe and across Nevada committed to protecting our natural environment and elevating our state’s celebrated outdoor heritage.” 

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Along with the cleaning effort, CUTL is working with scientists and environmental consultants to identify the most common types and sources of waste to help inform litter prevention strategies. They'll continue to monitor "litter hotspots." 

With the Nevada side of the lake complete, the group will now turn its attention to California’s nearshore and they expect to finish the entire 72-mile clean-up effort later this month. 

Kristen DeSilva (she/her) is the online editor for Nevada Public Radio. She curates content on, our weekly newsletter and social media for Nevada Public Radio and Desert Companion.
KNPR’s Morning Edition Host, Rick Andrews, joined Nevada Public Radio as an announcer in 2003, shortly after we split into two stations.