The project is a partnership of the League to Save Lake Tahoe, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, and the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Preventing the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species is a top priority for all three agencies.
Volunteers will be working in a large swale (similar to a shallow pond) adjacent to Lake Tahoe, which is infected with Eurasian watermilfoil. Help is needed to remove barriers, pull out dead milfoil, and install new barriers in new sections of the swale. All ages and abilities are welcome to participate.
The first day of the Baldwin Beach volunteer project, in early June, drew 20 volunteers for a rewarding day of milfoil removal and barrier installation. “The project is part of the League’s expanding outreach and education program, which aims to engage communities in hands-on stewardship activities to protect Lake Tahoe,” said Nicole Gergans, League to Save Lake Tahoe Natural Resources Manager and project organizer. “We are really excited to partner with both the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the U.S. Forest Service during this event.”
Eurasian watermilfoil is an aquatic plant native to Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa that has spread throughout the waterways of the United States. Once established, the invasive watermilfoil can crowd out native plants, interfere with recreation, detract from scenic beauty, and facilitate the establishment of invasive warm water fish in Lake Tahoe. The weed has infested the Tahoe Keys and has spread to scenic Emerald Bay.
“Eurasian watermilfoil changes our lake in visible ways, like decreasing water clarity and clogging up waterways so boats can’t get through, “ said Patrick Stone, Senior TRPA Wildlife and Fisheries Biologist. “Projects like this are a great way for the community to witness these impacts first-hand and to experience how much hard work it takes to remove an invasive species once it’s established.”