Lake Tahoe groups support fight against invasive species
TRUCKEE, Calif. — A conservation group and a coalition of municipal drinking water providers at Lake Tahoe have pitched in to try to stunt the growth of invasive aquatic plants that can degrade water quality and rob the lake of its famed clarity.
The Tahoe Fund and the Tahoe Water Suppliers Association recently reached their fundraising goal to buy more than 150 bottom barriers and other resources to support the Tahoe Resource Conservation District in fighting the invasive animals and plants, the Truckee Sierra Sun reported Tuesday.
The conservation district’s inventory of the barriers was 1.5 acres short of the 5-acre (2-hectare) limit for the lake. The funding from the groups will allow the conservation to reach the coverage limit.
The association had allocated $26,000 last year to help the conservation district, but the idea surfaced for the group to work with the Tahoe Fund on a matching fundraising challenge, said Madonna Dunbar, the association’s executive director.
“We were going to throw the $26,000 down no matter what, and then one of the board members said maybe the Tahoe Fund would want to match or work with us. It just all clicked,” Dunbar said.
The two groups raised the $52,000 with the help of other organizations and private donors.
“This was the very first time we’ve done something like this, and we’re delighted it was so successful,” Dunbar said. “It’s definitely opened up the power of partnership for us.”
The barriers will be deployed this spring by the conservation district. The barriers are made of a plastic-like material that allows oxygen to flow through but starve the invasive plants of sunlight. The barriers can be divided to target certain areas.
The invasive species include Eurasian water milfoil, curly leaf pondweed, Asian clams and warm water fish.
“Aquatic invasive species and invasive species are a pretty big threat to Lake Tahoe, so everybody should be taking it seriously,” Dunbar said.