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LAKE TAHOE, CA/NV (January 14, 2021) — Yesterday morning, the Lahontan Water Quality Control Board voted unanimously to approve a test of methods to tackle the growing infestation of aquatic invasive weeds in the Tahoe Keys, located on Lake Tahoe’s south shore. Aquatic invasive species, including the plants plaguing the Keys, are the most pressing ecological threat to Lake Tahoe’s health and beauty. 

Algae bloom in the Tahoe Keys

Today’s decision to approve the Tahoe Keys Lagoons Aquatic Weed Control Methods Test comes after more than seven years of planning, design, scientific analysis and robust public input from many agencies, organizations and the Tahoe community. The League to Save Lake Tahoe has been involved throughout, and in efforts that predate the Control Methods Test.

Recognizing the threat invasive species pose to Lake Tahoe’s water quality, the League has taken a leadership role in efforts to tackle the problem and keep it contained, which includes helping develop and fund innovative technologies currently implemented in the Keys. The League is a strong supporter of the Control Methods Test, relying on the best available science, results from their pilot projects, and investigations into emerging methods to guide their position.

The following is a statement from Darcie Goodman Collins, PhD, CEO of the League to Save Lake Tahoe, also known as Keep Tahoe Blue:

“To Keep Tahoe Blue, we urgently need to solve the invasive species problem in the Tahoe Keys. This morning’s approval of the Tahoe Keys Control Methods Test puts us on the right path. The unanimous decision by the Lahontan board recognizes the rigorous scientific basis, innovative design and strict environmental safeguards of the test, which were crucial to earning the League’s support. 

For nearly a decade, the League has been a leader, working tirelessly to develop solutions, but also to find common ground for battling invasive species in the Tahoe Keys with all key stakeholders. Years of dedication from the Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association, Lahontan, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and members of the community helped get us to this point, where we are poised to learn from the wide range of tools and approaches in the Control Methods Test. The League will continue to collaborate to solve the problem in the Keys and protect Tahoe’s water quality.

We are hopeful that the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency concurs with Lahontan’s decision at their upcoming meeting, and we can set off on this three-year path to determine how to control ground zero for aquatic invasive species at Tahoe and preserve the Lake for generations to come.” 

The Lahontan Water Quality Control Board’s decision to certify the environmental review documents and approve the rigorous scientific monitoring in the Tahoe Keys that accompanies the test is the result of years of stakeholder collaboration. The Board’s vote is an important step forward in combating aquatic invasive species at ground zero of their infestation in Lake Tahoe. On January 26, 2022, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board will consider taking action to provide the final needed approval for the Control Methods Test.