Did you know that Lake Tahoe receives approximately 15 million visitors every year? As visitation rates at our parks continue to grow, so does our responsibility for protecting them by keeping them litter-free.
Our Volunteer Coordinator, Jamie Fong, is spearheading our Clean Up Days at Kings Beach State Recreation Area and Donner Memorial State Park this summer. Everyone is invited to join The Litter League’s effort to tackle the prevalent litter issue and preserve the scenic treasures that are our parks – one bag at a time.
We encourage participants to bring:
- A pair of reusable gloves
- A trash grabber, if you have one
- Biodegradable bags are provided, but you’re welcome to bring your own
- Close-toed shoes
- A reusable water bottle
Our volunteers learned that microplastics were the most common type of litter found throughout Kings Beach. Improperly disposed litter that’s found on Lake Tahoe’s beaches is believed to be the lake’s primary source of plastic pollution and threatens the lake’s famed water clarity.
Microplastics derive from plastic items that are usually used once but last a lifetime! The small plastic debris that escapes into the environment endangers the ecosystem through bioaccumulation and the inability to degrade naturally. A better understanding of microplastic sources and impacts is critical to keeping Lake Tahoe’s shorelines clean and ensuring that it remains a healthy and vibrant ecosystem.
Second to microplastics, our volunteers have discovered that organic litter is pervasive and has long-term impacts on the surrounding wildlife and scenic beauty of our parks. Examples of organic litter include banana peels, orange peels, and apple cores.
Organic litter is often justified because it is known to biodegrade – eventually. It’s important to know that this type of litter doesn’t disappear nearly as fast as we might think. It’s important to consider, organic or not, litter lingers!