Clean Up The Lake’s mission to fight against plastic and all forms of pollution has caught the attention of local businesses and foundations; Martis Fund, Tahoe Mountain Resorts Foundation, Truckee Tahoe Lumber Company, and the Parasol Community Foundation who have become major partners in the Donner Lake Monitoring Project. The Town of Truckee has just joined this group as the final partner for this year’s efforts led by Clean Up The Lake on Donner Lake. Support from these specific partnerships, among others, has now completely closed out the total funding required for the 2022 Donner Lake Monitoring Project.
- Related: Clean Up the Lake Completes 72 Mile Clean-Up of Lake Tahoe, Recovering 25,281 Pounds of Trash
On Tuesday, July 26, 2022, the Truckee Town Council voted unanimously to support the Donner Lake Monitoring Project and to direct funds from the Climate Partnership Capital Improvement Project budget to this program. The Council has clearly expressed and communicated the priority of protecting our natural resources and being good stewards to our land, and all agreed that this project aligned with this particular Truckee Town Council goal.
Councilmember Anna Klovstad insists that this type of partnership will help foster stronger relationships between our nonprofits and governments and help to recognize future efforts and possibilities to better our community. She explains, “The Town of Truckee has been given an incredible opportunity with this partnership. Clean Up The Lake does an extraordinary job of cataloging what they find. We hope to learn from that to create better practices of preservation by tourists and residents alike, furthering our commitment to a sustainable Truckee.”
The Donner Lake Monitoring Project is in full swing and the team is actively collecting data on litter accumulation trends. This includes; small to moderately sized litter removal, GPS location data on litter hotspots, heavy lift items, unknown or potentially historical items, as well as pilot data on invasive species and any algal bloom presence. The team is even gearing up to examine litter accumulation trends at deeper depths, off of hotspots identified in 2020. All to help capture a comprehensive look at the effects of litter on the underwater environment. Often strapping on additional tanks to increase dive time, the highly experienced deep-dive teams are reaching depths as far as 100-130 feet in theoretical depths at altitude; often computing to 80-100 feet in actual depth.
Martis Fund board member, Thomas Murphy is excited about the partnership and the project’s impact on the community. Murphy is hopeful that as a result of this project, “Residents and visitors will be more conscientious of their direct impacts on the lake and our region’s natural resources.” In addition, John Jewett with Tahoe Mountain Resorts Foundation believes, “Donner Lake provides an incredible environmental and recreational asset to the Truckee/Tahoe community, thus its health is paramount.”
Clean Up The Lakes Founder & Executive Director Colin West, says “Donner Lake has a special place in my heart. In 2020 Donner Lake was the home to our first circumnavigated cleanup, and this year it’s hosting our first monitoring project and deep dives. Our organization will continue to spearhead environmental protection efforts on this beautiful lake for years to come. For now, I could not be any more thankful to see the entire community of Truckee and this group of amazing partners come on board to not only support, but to fully fund the important work we are doing at Donner Lake this summer.”