Protecting Lake Tahoe Since 1957
Birds eye view of the Tahoe shoeline

Keep Tahoe Blue advocacy update

Read this eNewsletter online

Our advocacy, policy and science experts keep a watchful eye on projects and plans that could impact the health and clarity of Lake Tahoe. We do this work through our three campaigns: Advance Restoration, Combat Pollution and Tackle Invasive Species. Scroll down to read about a few projects we're working on now.

Support our work

Remembering Dianne Feinstein, a true Tahoe champion

For decades, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein advocated passionately for our Jewel of the Sierra, helping win hundreds of millions of dollars for environmental improvement projects, and making it possible for us all to enjoy the Lake long into the future.

She was a leader, a dear friend to the League, and a true champion for Lake Tahoe. She will be deeply missed.

Sen. Feinstein and the Tahoe Partnership

Members of the "Team Tahoe" partnership, including our CEO Dr. Darcie Goodman Collins, pictured in 2017 with the Senator. 

Read about Sen. Feinstein's legacy for Tahoe.

New Zealand mudsnails found in Lake Tahoe for the first time

New Zealand mudsnail

The recent discovery of this aquatic invasive species, never before detected in Tahoe, is truly sad news, but not unexpected.

Tahoe’s program to manage aquatic invasive species leads the nation, but it does have gaps and room for improvement. Organizations and agencies alone can't keep all aquatic invaders out. Every one of us who enjoys Tahoe needs to do our part to prevent aquatic invasive species from turning the Lake's famously blue waters green. Please join us to protect the Lake.

Learn more
Where it's been found


Extension of the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act

US Capitol Building

Photo: Thomas Guignard, FlickrCC

What is it? In 1997, President Clinton and Vice President Gore made a very important visit to Tahoe, fulfilling a multi-year effort by the League to bring federal attention – and dollars – to address Tahoe’s environmental challenges. Their visit, and the international attention that came with it, built momentum that led to the passage of the 2000 Lake Tahoe Restoration Act (LTRA) and $300 million in funding for Tahoe environmental projects.

In 2016, President Obama signed legislation that included the second LTRA, which authorized an additional $415 million for habitat restoration, research, aquatic invasive species and wildfire prevention at Lake Tahoe through 2023. However, a majority of the funds made available by the 2016 LTRA have not yet been allocated, or delivered, to Tahoe.

The League, our advocacy partners and Tahoe’s federal delegation of elected representatives are working to ensure Tahoe doesn’t miss out on those needed funds.

Where is it in the process? In March of this year, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Representative Mark Amodei (R-NV) introduced legislation in both Houses of Congress to extend the authorization of the 2016 Lake Tahoe Restoration Act. The proposed legislation would keep available until 2034 hundreds of millions of dollars of authorized but unallocated funds for Tahoe. These funds will help finish crucial environmental work and make Tahoe resilient in the face of unprecedented impacts from climate change, including catastrophic wildfire. The bill was supported unanimously by Tahoe’s federal delegation on both sides of the aisle, along with other long-time Tahoe champions. Lawmakers voiced their support for the bill during the 2023 Lake Tahoe Summit.

In September, League CEO Dr. Darcie Goodman Collins visited Washington alongside representatives from Tahoe’s public, private and nonprofit sectors – informally called “Team Tahoe” – to maintain momentum toward passing the reauthorization bill.  

What’s next? Both the Senate and House versions of the bill have been referred to committees. Once the versions pass out of committee, they will need to be approved by both houses of Congress before the reauthorization legislation can be signed into law. If the bill is reauthorized, our focus will turn to getting the funds allocated for environmental improvement projects in Tahoe.

What is the League’s position? SUPPORT

For decades, the League has been a strong advocate and vocal champion for channeling federal funding to Tahoe. We will continue to urge our federal delegation to use new and trusted paths to ensure Tahoe gets the support it needs. We’d like to thank our elected officials for their commitment to Keep Tahoe Blue: Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen of Nevada, and Alex Padilla and the late Dianne Feinstein of California; Representatives Kevin Kiley and John Garamendi of California, and Mark Amodei, Susie Lee, Dina Titus and Steven Horsford of Nevada.

Climate connection: Funding from the Lake Tahoe Restoration Acts has enabled projects that make Tahoe better able to withstand the impacts of climate change – including extreme wildfire and drought – through forest management work and revitalization of ecosystems and their functions.

More information:


Lead telecommunications cables in Lake Tahoe

Lead cable in Lake Tahoe

What is it? In the 1920s and 1940s, Bell Systems laid two lead-clad telecommunications cables underwater along the south shore of Lake Tahoe, covering a total six miles. As technology advanced, the lead cables fell out of use but were never removed. In 2012, divers with Marine Taxonomic Services (MTS) discovered the cables near the mouth of Emerald Bay, and in 2021 they alerted the League. We quickly reached out to senior leadership at AT&T, one of the successors to Bell Systems, urging them to remove the cables from the Lake immediately. 

In 2021, the California Sportfishing Alliance sued AT&T over the cables, and the two parties reached a settlement in November of the same year. Without assuming responsibility or ownership of the cables, AT&T agreed to pay up to $1.5 million to have them removed. The League worked with our partners to expedite the permits and preparations needed for the work to begin as quickly as possible. With everything in place, September 6, 2023 was set as the project’s start date. AT&T ensured the League they were ready and committed to do the work. 

Separately, in the spring of 2022, the League paid for a survey which mapped all lead-clad cables in the Lake to better understand the impact and risk to the environment and public.

Where is it in the process? In July 2023, with the September removal date still confirmed, the Wall Street Journal released a series of investigative stories revealing there are a total of 2,000 lead-clad telecommunications cables in place across the United States. Shortly afterward, AT&T backed out of their plans to remove the cables from Tahoe, saying they would remain in Lake Tahoe indefinitely. Since then, AT&T has been required by the US Environmental Protection Agency to hand over all documentation related to testing done for the cables.

What’s next? The League continues to pressure AT&T to do what’s right by the Lake, while also working with our agency partners, as well as the US EPA, to find other ways to remove the cables as quickly as possible. We also expect the EPA will build on the testing data they gather from AT&T by conducting their own independent water quality testing near the cables, which we strongly encourage.

What is the League’s position? OPPOSE strongly

Anything that threatens the health of Tahoe’s environment, or the people who enjoy it, has no place here. The lead cables need to come out immediately. We were extremely disappointed that AT&T abruptly shelved its plans to remove the cables after they had committed to a start date for the work. It’s even more frustrating given that all preparations – surveys, permits, contractors and staging – were in place for the cables to be removed in September 2023. Despite the media attention from the Wall Street Journal, the facts of the situation have not changed: there are miles of lead cables in Lake Tahoe that need to be removed immediately. AT&T must pull the cables out of the Lake, and we will continue to press the company to keep their word to us and the public and remove these cables now.

Climate connection: The impacts of climate change make the Lake’s ecosystem more vulnerable to threats– from invasive species, natural disasters and pollution.

More information:


Opening of the Tahoe Blue Event Center

Tahoe Blue Event Center rendering

What is it? The Tahoe Blue Event Center, named for its title sponsor Tahoe Blue Vodka, is a newly opened, 6,000-seat, multi-purpose meeting and events venue at the intersection of Lake Parkway and US 50 at Stateline, Nevada. 

The League was heavily involved during the project’s planning stages to ensure it does not create new traffic in Stateline, or add to parking strain and pollution. Through our negotiations, the event center is providing significant funding for Lake Link – the south shore’s free, on-demand microtransit service – and other traffic-reducing elements, such as a limited calendar of events, size and timing, as well as parking management.

Where is it in the process? The event center’s grand opening was held on September 18. The first series of conventions and performances were held over the past few weeks.

Lake Link launched in the summer of 2022, a year before the event center’s opening, as a result of the League’s advocacy. The service has proved to be a popular alternative transportation option for residents, workers and visitors. In its first 12 months it provided 130,000 rides, many of them shared between passengers, that would have most likely been taken by separate rides in private cars.

What’s next? We sit on a stakeholder group that monitors the project’s operations. In this watchdog role, we’ll make sure the venue continues to meet the rigorous conditions we helped negotiate. We’ll also provide recommendations for how the events center can improve its operations and transportation services to further minimize unwanted impacts to the environment and community.

What is the League’s position? SUPPORT with caveats

If the event center continues to meet its permit requirements, including proper funding for Lake Link, and shows it can be truly traffic-neutral, the League is supportive. We got involved with this project with the vision that its traffic mitigations could lay the foundation for improved transportation across the south shore. In the last year, we’ve made progress toward that vision.

Climate connection: Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) is a measure of how much automobiles are used to travel within the Tahoe Basin – and how much pollution those trips create. Future patrons to the event center have the potential to add VMT, and thus damage Lake Tahoe. The traffic mitigations added to the project encourage visitors to take shared rides or other alternative transportation options to get to the venue, thus minimizing additional VMT and tailpipe emissions that fuel climate change and damage Lake Tahoe’s water quality.

More information:


Tahoe Keys Control Methods Test - year two update

Tahoe Keys CMT Map - 2023 Year 2

What is it? The Control Methods Test (CMT) is a three-year, science-based program to test a range of treatment methods, alone and in combination, to control the infestation of aquatic invasive weeds in targeted areas within the Tahoe Keys. The results will guide a long-term strategy to tackle Tahoe’s most threatening invasive species infestation, stop its spread further into the Lake, and help protect water quality and clarity lakewide.

Where is it in the process? After nearly a decade of preparation, the League’s leadership, funding and coalition-building efforts helped guide the CMT through its first year of tests in the summer of 2022. Those tests included the one-time, targeted use of herbicides in dead-end lagoons to reduce or “knock back” the weed population. A deep dive into 75,000 monitoring data points showed the year one tests were effective. 

This summer, the testing continued to determine if the knock-back levels achieved in year one can be maintained with non-herbicide tools only, including:

  • Bottom barriers – to starve the weeds of light.
  • UV-C light treatment – which scorch the weeds’ cell walls so they cannot reproduce.
  • Diver-assisted suction dredging – to physically remove the plants from the lagoon bottoms using hand tools and suction hoses.
  • Laminar flow aeration (LFA) – injecting oxygen into the channel bottoms to stimulate bacteria and consume the muck layer which the weeds use for food.

The League paid for enhanced LFA monitoring to evaluate the potential for this technology to be a long-term strategy to help suppress the weeds by removing their food supply.

What’s next? Once the year two tests conclude, tens of thousands of data points collected from this summer will be analyzed to see if the treatments were effective in maintaining the weed knock-back levels achieved during year one. We are also evaluating other water quality improvement solutions that are outside the scope of the CMT but would be useful for achieving our goals. One possibility is improving water circulation in the Keys, which could make the environment less hospitable for weeds.

What is the League’s position? SUPPORT

Aquatic invasive species are the single largest ecological threat to Lake Tahoe and must be put in check. We support the CMT because the status quo has failed to control the problem; the test will help inform a long-term invasive weed control strategy; and the CMT’s design has a firm foundation in the best available science.

The League has been heavily involved in planning and execution of the CMT. It has been our priority to ensure that the process is guided by and adheres to the best available science to protect Tahoe’s water quality. Our team of experts helped craft the design for the year two tests and watched it closely to ensure it was executed safely and with long-term invasive species control at the forefront.

Climate connection: Climate change is creating more hospitable habitat for aquatic invasive species in Lake Tahoe. Prolonged drought lowers Tahoe’s water level, expanding areas of shallow water that warm easily and allow invasive weeds to flourish.

More information:


Upcoming projects and programs

The League is involved with all important issues in Tahoe from start to finish. Here’s a list of other things we’re tracking closely.

Changes at Homewood

  • Official details about the proposed development and shift in business model at Homewood have not yet been released. When they do, our team will evaluate them closely to ensure they stick to the vision set forth in the project's approved master plan.

Village at Palisades Project

  • The League opposes the project, just as we did when it was first proposed in 2012, because of the significant and unmitigated impacts to Lake Tahoe’s environment, especially from new traffic.

North Shore Development Projects

  • Our expert staff is proactively engaged with project proponents, developers and local governments as overarching plans (such as Placer County's Tahoe Basin Area Plan) are updated, and as several specific projects (like 39 North) are developed. Our approach is to be involved early and often to make plans and projects as Lake-friendly as possible.

Your new, go-to beanie

See ya, summer. Crisp fall weather is now in full effect. Grab yourself the hat the season is calling for.

Our organic cotton beanie is a soft, comfortable match for your next hike, football watch party or leaf-peeping adventure.

With a double-sided cork patch, you can wear it tucked or untucked and show your love for Tahoe.

Organic cotton beanie
All proceeds benefit our efforts to Keep Tahoe Blue.
Visit our shop

Tahoe Science Conference

2023 Tahoe Science Conference

The partnership between Tahoe scientists and resource managers is the subject of a conference hosted by the Tahoe Science Advisory Council on October 11-13 at Lake Tahoe Community College.

The gathering will bring together academics, scientists, natural resource managers and community members for a thoughtful, interactive dialogue about science as the foundation for environmental protection policy – past, present, and future.

The League's CEO, CSO and Sr. Science Policy Analyst will speak as part of the program.

Learn more
Share this eNewsletter.
LinkedIn Share This Email

League to Save Lake Tahoe | 530.541.5388 |

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram