LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KTXL) – A group of divers is hoping to keep Lake Tahoe’s reputation of crystal-clear waters by taking out as much trash from the lake as possible.
“The lake is something like a trash can, people that are partying here,” said Matt Levitt of Tahoe Blue Vodka, whose company donated $100,000 to help keep Lake Tahoe clean.
Over the last three months, a group of divers with the nonprofit organization Clean Up The Lake have picked up more than 8,000 pounds of trash over the span of 22 miles.
Founder Colin West told FOX40 their goal is to clean up the entire lake. So far, the trash they have removed has ranged from beer and soda bottles, clothes, old radios to even ID cards from more than 40 years ago.
“This is from 1979 and you might be able to see his great ’70s stache on there,” West said, showing the ID.
The beaches at Lake Tahoe are popular and the water is known for its clarity, but to keep it that way, West and his divers want visitors to remember to leave nothing but footprints in the sand.
“It’s sad to see the footprint that the human species has left under the surface of this beautiful lake in the last 50-60 years alone,” West said.
The trash not only diminishes the beauty of the lake, but it also affects those living in the lake.
“Under the water, we have a whole ecosystem that relies on a very clean lake and when we start having people dump all of their trash into the lake, that impacts that clean water,” explained the Tahoe Fund’s Amy Berry.
The clean-up effort costs around $250,000 and Levitt hopes the amount of trash being recovered Wednesday is a learning experience for anyone who visits.
“Think about cleaning up after ourselves a little more when we’re here on the beach next time,” Levitt advised.
The dive team is hoping to finish cleaning all 72-miles of the lake by Nov. 15.