Threats to Tahoe's clarity and ecosystem

Urban Stormwater: The Lake's Largest Pollution Source

Urban stormwater is the largest source of pollution clouding Lake Tahoe's clear water. When it rains, or as snow melts, water flows down streets and across parking lots, picking up dirt, road sand, fine particles and oil, all of which flow directly into storm drains that lead to Lake Tahoe.

Learn more about our efforts to combat pollution.

Invasive Species

One of the biggest threats to Lake Tahoe is the introduction and spread of invasive species. Weeds and non-native clams are changing the lake’s ecosystem, concentrating nutrients, causing algae blooms and creating habitat for more invasives like large goldfish and bass. Eurasian watermilfoil, a common aquarium plant, is now established in dozens of locations across the lake’s shoreline. Our volunteer program Eyes on the Lake aims to keep water weeds in check along Tahoe's shore.

Learn more about our efforts to tackle invasive species.

Climate Change

Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing Lake Tahoe. It is causing more precipitation to fall as rain rather than snow. More rain means more floods and stormwater runoff that carries sediment into Lake Tahoe. Climate change is also increasing the lake’s water temperature and affecting regional weather patterns in ways that could change the lake’s ecosystem and cause more of a decline in the lake’s clarity. The risk of catastrophic wildfire is also exacerbated by climate change.

Learn more about how we advance restoration to address climate change.

Stay current on all things Lake Tahoe