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Can Lake Tahoe Be Saved?

TitleCan Lake Tahoe Be Saved?
Author/CreatorCobourn, John; Purdy, Shelly; Segale, Heather M.
Related item(s)Press Release available at; photo included in this video is housed in UNR's collections (UNRS-P1987-15-6)
Date Original2003-01
Summary/DescriptionLake Tahoe Report Segment # 4 - "What We Are Doing to Save the Lake" (Air Date: 2/25/2003). Juan Palma, Executive Director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, and Dave Antonucci, Civil & Environmental Engineer, discuss efforts to reduce or eliminate the flood of human-caused pollutants that are compromising Lake Tahoe's clarity.
SubjectTahoe, Lake, Watershed (Calif. and Nev.) -- Environmental conditions
LocationLake Tahoe (Calif. and Nev.)
Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)
CollectionThe Lake Tahoe Report
Original PublisherLake Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition (
Electronic PublisherUniversity of Nevada, Reno - Department of Teaching and Learning Technologies
Ordering and Permissions InformationFor more information, contact the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, or 775-832-4138.
Date Digital2004-12-06
RelationRequires Windows Media Player
Resource TypeMoving Image
Contributing InstitutionUniversity of Nevada, Reno
TranscriptionSEGMENT 4: ((Anchor Intro)) Over the past three weeks in our "Lake Tahoe Report" segments we've shown you some of the problems facing Lake Tahoe and its surrounding ecosystem. Tonight we're turning things around a bit. Shelly Purdy takes a look at current efforts to save the lake. PACKAGE: ((Comstock music - PHOTOS)) ((TRACK 1)) Until recently, possibly the worst time in Lake Tahoe's history was during the Comstock Lode of the late 1800's. The Tahoe Basin was virtually clear-cut…and the timber used in the silver mines of Virginia City. ((SOT tape 2 @ 21:03 Dave Antonucci, Civil & Environmental Engineer)) "The core sampling showed that there was a distinct period in which a lot of organic matter flowed into the lake. This would be logging slash and debris and sawdust from the mills all flowed into the lake." ((TRACK 2)) But that core sampling also shows that after the Comstock era and before the development boom of the 1960s and 70s the lake actually rebounded…and clarity improved. It's that data that gives researchers hope for today. ((SOT tape 2 @ 25:26 Dave Antonucci)) "There's hope that if we can reduce or eliminate the flood of human-caused pollutants into lake Tahoe. That it would almost immediately respond by improving clarity." ((TRACK 3)) But time is NOT on our side. Due to Tahoe's immense size…when a pollutant in the form of dirt, chemicals or other sediments gets into the lake it takes a whopping 700 years before it flushes out. That's why a massive cooperative effort is underway to prevent pollutants from reaching the lake in the first place. Erosion control projects like this roadside drainage system are designed to keep damaging sediments out of the water. ((SOT tape 1 @ 18:19 Juan Palma, Executive Director, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency)) "Well over 800 projects are being implemented here at Lake Tahoe. And, we are looking at close to a billion dollars of investment to be able to protect this beautiful alpine lake." ((Standup tape 3 @ 14:11 Shelly Purdy)) "The good news is the experts all agree if we can slow down the rate of pollution the lake should recover over time. But it's going to take a lot of money and a hurculean effort to do it. Federal, state and local governments along with private businesses and other agencies are working together to tackle this huge restoration effort. I'm Shelly Purdy for News Channel 8." ((Anchor Tag/Still Store)) If you would like more information about what you can do to help reduce the pollution to Lake Tahoe visit our website at In next week's Lake Tahoe segment, Shelly will talk about the right and wrong way to remove snow during the wintertime.

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