Monday, April 6, 2009

Tahoe's Unclear Future

Lake Tahoe is among the world’s deepest lakes at 1,645 ft and it still attracts speedboats, rafters, fishermen and tourism. Truly a beautiful place with mountains, balloon rides, water activities…but something seems fishy. The old timers and scientists are sending red flags that Lake Tahoe is clouding up.

Now this isn’t one of those “sprinkle-some-pool-chemical” options. We have a major problem here. Monitoring by the University of California shows the clarity has diminished by one-third (sounds like my 401K!). Additionally, they have measured that the average depth has changed from 102 ft to 70 ft. Light scattering sediments have been tested and yielded runoff from condo roofs, marina debris, and other shore growth that is impeding visibility.

We already have global warming and climate change to address. Not to point any fingers, but some folks are wondering how much more construction and development is needed. National Geographic covered a short story about how the abundance of pine, cedar and fresh water are vanishing.

They just keep building.
Boats are leaking oil and gasoline.
Every year it gets more populated with garbage and beer cans.
And the water color has changed questionably clear to nuclear green.

I’m not being a party pooper, but seriously, we need to reconsider our garbage behavior, shopping habits and general consumption. I'm all for being a weekend warrior of kiteboarding and rock climbing, but have respect! Or Karma and Mother Nature will get you back...

Source: National Geographic, April 2009

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