Clean Up The Lake made its first big splash in the Tahoe area with its 2020 summer project on Donner Lake. Their team circumnavigated the entire lake, removing trash and marking larger objects for extraction on a later date. Their persistent efforts yielded quite the bounty of litter; 5,151.5 pounds to be exact!

A volunteer’s kayak loaded down with the results of a day’s work. Photo courtesy of Clean Up The Lake.

2020 was a banner year for the organization, but their 2021 summer plans are astounding: Clean Up The Lake will be completing a scuba circumnavigation of our prized Gem of the Sierras, Lake Tahoe.

A diver swims down to gather trash underneath Donner Lake’s surface. Photo courtesy of Clean Up The Lake.

In Tahoe, restoration season is short for the organization. Come winter, the basin doesn’t receive the help it gets in the summer. Clean Up The Lake works tirelessly through the summer with volunteers and staff to ensure their short season still makes a long lasting difference.

Interested in volunteering? Click here.

Clean Up The Lake got a small jumpstart on their Lake Tahoe mission late last summer by cleaning up six miles of Tahoe’s shoreline and depths around Incline Village. Their efforts once again yielded heaping amounts of single-use products and trash, which weighed in at just over 3,000 pounds!

Check out Clean Up The Lake’s website!

CUTL’s founder Colin West is going a big step beyond just picking up trash by working with micro plastics research terms from Tahoe Environmental Research Center and the Desert Research Institute. With help from the research teams, Clean Up The Lake can learn about what we can do to address the issue of the plastics we can’t just pick up.

Clean Up The Lake is doing amazing work, and for that, I, as well as many other Tahoe locals are appreciative. A big thank you to Clean Up The Lake and all the volunteers, donors, and supporters.

Ryan Rintala | Social Media @mattheronflyfishing