Unprecedented 72 Mile Underwater Cleanup of Lake Tahoe

NPO and local partners collaborate on lake-wide scuba trash removal project

South Lake Tahoe, Calif. (September 5, 2019) – In wake of the recent studies conducted by Desert Research Institute and UC Davis finding microplastics in Lake Tahoe, local 501(c)(3), CLEAN UP THE LAKE in partnership with TAHOE DIVE CENTER, have decided to speed up their announcement of their pre-existing plan to do a 72-mile underwater-scuba trash clean up of the entire shoreline of Lake Tahoe in Nevada and California. Their goal is to make this the largest clean up in Lake Tahoe’s history while covering every inch of shoreline under the surface of the largest alpine lake in the USA. The project also has plans to integrate cleaners on the shoreline beaches as well.

Make A Difference Film – Trailer from WINERAM Productions on Vimeo.

Clean Up The Lake began organizing scuba clean-ups after hearing of a local team’s clean up project in summer 2018 that found +/-600 pounds of trash in one small cove of Tahoe, all in one day. The NPO’s mission is dedicated to cleaning the lake both inside and out. “With tourism increasing, so many jurisdictions working hard to manage the trash problem across 2 states, no one is able to pay attention to the trash under the surface of the lake that dates back all the way to the ’70s in areas. I decided it was time to make a difference in our own backyard. Tahoe appears to be pristine and beautiful, but under the surface, there are quite a few issues going on with pollution” says local nonprofit founder, Colin West.

The 72-mile dive will follow the circumference of Lake Tahoe and will be a partnership working with the owner of Tahoe Dive Center in Stateline, Nevada, Matt Meunier. Matt was Colin’s contact from a group involved in the 600-pound scuba-clean up of 2018.  “This is will be an enormous undertaking, one that we believe has never been done before,” says Meunier.

The dive will be completed in stages. The two leads, West and Meunier, will be cleaning trash as they circumnavigate the entirety of the lake using dry suit certifications to begin the dive in late spring of 2020. They plan to use full face masks to be able to speak underwater and communicate GPS coordinates of problem areas for trash to their surface support above water in boats. These problem areas are to be further cleaned that day by an additional crew of 3 to 5 divers, with 18-30 other divers total for the project as they alternate their clean-ups daily. GPS coordinates of the problem areas will then be cataloged by the NPO to monitor in the future for any reoccurring trash. Clean Up The Lake is currently speaking to a few research facilities for a possible partnership

to collect data on the trash they find under the surface to better understand the issue. They are also already working with numerous state agencies in Nevada, with plans to reach out to California offices this fall.

“We hope to have all hands on deck. With the help and cooperation of both local, state and federal agencies, we can streamline the largest lake-wide cleanup Tahoe has ever seen,” explains West. Please note the 501(c)3 NPO is legally titled “Clean Up The Cayes” after initially being inspired by pollution in Belize, and a DBA for Clean Up The Lake is currently in progress.

Media Invited to Preliminary Cleanup Dive on 9/21

Clean Up The Lake and Tahoe Dive Center will host a preliminary large-scale cleanup this month on Saturday, September 21st, 2019 on the East Shore of Lake Tahoe. All media interested is invited to attend and contact us at the information below for more info. This cleanup will also mark the beginning of a Feature Documentary called “MAKE A DIFFERENCE” that focuses on plastic pollution worldwide and rather than profiling solely the problem, the film will showcase those making a difference against plastic pollution globally. To view the film trailer, please visit: https://vimeo.com/357906348 or go to the GoFundMe page below.

To Donate please go to: https://www.gofundme.com/f/72-mile-lake-tahoe-scuba-clean-up

Photo & Video Assets:   https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l8axirtqp0yu2m5/AAClwNCFC2pSDsPX8U-hG3t2a?dl=0

Point of Contact: Colin West / PHONE: +1 (530) 562-7131 / EMAIL: cleanupthelake@gmail.com

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