Importance of watersheds

Save Lake Tahoe & Take Action!


Clean watersheds are vital to local ecology and human habitats. There are many ways to address our impact on them–through home improvement, for example. But how are local organizations creating ways to reduce pollution in our waters?

In recent news, the League to Save Lake Tahoe is addressing the issue by decreasing the greatest source of pollution to our water systems: runoff pollution. By working with local government agencies and businesses, the League to Save Lake Tahoe is enacting a Total Maximum Daily Load program. They hope to decrease stormwater pollutant loads in order to increase Lake Tahoe’s water clarity.

Particularly, studies by the League note that fine sediments–mainly pulverized in parking lots and roadways–contribute greatly to the clarity loss of the lake. Because they are so fine, these sediments do not sink to the bottom of the lake, but rather float within the water column, creating the murky appearance. By reducing stormwater loads, in addition to pollutants like nitrogen and phosphorus, projects to restore the lake’s water quality and clarity can begin.


Lake Tahoe

Photo by Patrick Nouhailler.


The commission is also seeking to develop and implement a stormwater monitoring program, to help determine whether the projects are having a positive effect on water quality. Citizens can contribute by becoming “pipe keepers”: these individuals would record the quality of water coming out of stormwater outfalls from Lake Tahoe by collecting samples. They will also be able to mark storm drains that go to the lake and not the sanitary sewer system, since many mix these up.

There are even more ways for citizens to develop healthy stormwater practices that would contribute to reducing stormwater pollution. One way is to analyze how you contribute to water pollution on a daily basis. But the best way is the Creeklife way: to become involved in community-based projects to increase awareness, clean up the environment, and build community in a green, eco-friendly way. Check out the action pages for new ideas to promote a clean environment today.

Posted by Mark Contorno

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