Strategic Communications Playbook

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OUR WHY

 

ONE PARAGRAPH:

Lake Tahoe has been loved by generations of nature-enthusiasts and adventure-seekers.

But with 15 million visitors each year, we must make sure that Tahoe doesn’t get loved to death.

The Lake might look pristine, but there’s a lot happening below the surface. If we lose the clear water of Tahoe, we lose everything we love about it. So we work each day to protect Tahoe, to keep it swimmable, hikeable, skiable, and enjoyable for all.

Let’s Keep Tahoe Blue, so we can all keep loving it. 

 

MESSAGES:
  • Lake Tahoe has been loved by generations of nature-enthusiasts and adventure-seekers.
    It’s a national treasure. But, it doesn’t have the protection of a national park. That’s why the Lake sees 10 million car trips and 15 million visits each year.
  • We must make sure that Tahoe doesn’t get loved to death.
    Tahoe might look pristine, but there’s a lot happening below the surface. From road runoff, to litter, wildfire, and invasive weeds, our Lake faces many challenges. And, once the damage is visible, it may not be possible to reverse. That’s why we work every day to solve problems before you can see them.
  • ‘Keep Tahoe Blue’ is more than our mission.
    The water is our biggest clue about how the Lake is doing. If we lose the clear water of Tahoe, we lose everything we love about it.
  • When we Keep Tahoe Blue, we keep it swimmable, hikeable, skiable, and enjoyable for all.
    We keep surrounding forests and marshlands healthy and brimming with native plants and wildlife. We safeguard a future for the Lake that we can all take pleasure in.
  • Let’s Keep Tahoe Blue, so we can all keep loving it. 

 

WHO WE ARE

 

ONE LINE:

We are the League – the donor-funded organization of environmental experts and Tahoe-lovers who have been keeping Tahoe blue since 1957.

 

ONE PARAGRAPH:

The League to Save Lake Tahoe is the donor-funded organization of environmental experts and Tahoe-lovers behind Keep Tahoe Blue. 

We have led the protection and regeneration of Lake Tahoe since 1957 and remain the central environmental body in the Basin. 

Lake Tahoe faces complex threats, from traffic congestion to toxic algal blooms. These challenges can’t be solved with quick fixes or band-aid solutions. Instead, we look at the big picture and the long term. 

Our team of environmental scientists, policy experts, land-use specialists and community organizers tackle challenges at the root cause. Alongside our international network of conservation partners, we draw on cutting edge innovation and have brought together the region’s biggest group of citizen scientists and volunteers. 

The Tahoe Basin sits at the nexus of two states, four counties, and dozens of agencies and nonprofits. We are the one organization making sure everyone works together towards the same goal – to Keep Tahoe Blue. 


 

WHAT WE DO

 

ONE LINE:

We look after the whole Lake Tahoe Basin, so it can be loved for generations to come. 

 

MESSAGES:
  • We repair damage done.
    We restore ecosystems harmed over decades of use and development, and safeguard the streams, wetlands, marshes, and meadows that act as the Lake’s natural filtration system.
  • We make sure every development makes things better, not worse.
    The League has shaped strong regulations, and we ensure that they are put into practice. Every renovation or development must reduce runoff, support alternative transportation, and use environmentally-friendly building methods.
  • We untrash the Lake.
    We’ve run over 1,400 beach clean-ups. Now, that hard work is also being done smarter, with clean-up robots that collect the trash people can’t find. We also improve waste management infrastructure to help make the right choice the easy choice. Most importantly, we stop trash at the source, by helping to pass local bans on single-use plastic water bottles, plastic bags, and Styrofoam.
  • We reduce forest fire risks. 
    When forest debris piles up, it becomes a dangerous fuel source. So, we secure public funding to keep Tahoe’s forests healthy and fire-resilient.
  • We keep the water crystal clear and free from invasive weeds.
    The League’s work over the years is the reason that Tahoe isn’t full of invasive weeds, jet ski gas and toxic algae. Our team of citizen scientists stay on top of water quality, so that we can spot problems early and stop them before they get out of hand.
  • We’re working to improve Tahoe’s traffic problem.
    There are no simple solutions when it comes to Tahoe’s traffic. We’ll keep piloting and scaling lake-friendly bikes and shuttles, and working across the public and private sectors to make it easy for visitors to leave their cars at home.
  • We make sure that policies are in the Lake’s best interests.
    For more than six decades, our team of environmental experts has guided government agencies, elected officials and decision makers on policies and regulations that impact the Lake.

 

HOW WE DO IT

 

ONE LINE:

Lake Tahoe can’t speak for itself. So, we do.

 

ONE PARAGRAPH:

From development, to transportation and tourism, decisions that impact Lake Tahoe are made every day. The best decisions must balance the needs of the community, visitors, future generations and the Lake itself. So, we use rigorous science and data to come up with practical solutions, speak up for the Lake at every decision table, and bring the right team together to make it happen. 

 

MESSAGES:
  • We use science to come up with smart solutions. 
    Our team of 1,000+ citizen scientist volunteers collect data on water quality, litter, and invasive species. By using this data to truly understand the environmental challenges in Tahoe, we make smart decisions that work over the long term. Our analysis of litter data helped us pass bans on plastic bags, polystyrene, and single-use water bottles, and bring beach-cleaning robots to Tahoe.
  • We leverage community donations to unlock public funding. 
    With around $4 million raised each year, we’ve unlocked over $2 billion in public funding for Tahoe agencies to protect and restore our precious ecosystem. Our science-based approach means we point public dollars towards the most effective solutions.
  • We create a community of Lake guardians. 
    We train volunteers, educate visitors and inspire school children. Our thousands of supporters and volunteers get hands-on to restore forests, marshes and meadows, and clean up our shorelines. Together, we create a culture of environmentalism and a community that truly cares for the Lake, today and for generations into the future.
  • We test new technology and scale up what works. 
    From shared bikes and scooters, to shuttles, to floating clean-up robots, we pilot innovative new solutions. Once we identify what works, we collaborate with businesses, public agencies and nonprofit partners to scale them up for even greater impact.
  • We bring the right players together. 
    The Tahoe Basin sits at the nexus of two states, four counties, and dozens of agencies and nonprofits. We are the one organization making sure everyone works towards the same goal – to Keep Tahoe Blue.

 

ELEVATOR PITCH

 

There’s a reason why Lake Tahoe remains a place of natural beauty that we love to explore. 

There’s a reason it isn’t overrun by toxic algae, invasive weeds and polluting jet skis. There’s a reason we don’t have shores lined with casinos, or a population that rivals San Francisco’s. There’s a reason why billions of public dollars have flowed into restoring our forests, waters, and wetlands.  

The League has been working hard to Keep Tahoe Blue since 1957. And when we Keep Tahoe Blue, we keep it swimmable, hikeable, skiable, and enjoyable for all. We safeguard a future for the Lake that we can all take pleasure in.  

We work every day to Keep Tahoe Blue, so we can all keep loving it. 


 

OUR COLLECTIVE IMPACT

 

  • 9 invasive weed infestations identified and treated.  
  • 895 acres of pristine ridgeline protected since 2020. 
  • 1,400 cleanups since 2014.
  • 95,000 pounds of litter collected since 2014, as much as 27 midsized cars.
  • 130,000 free rides replaced car trips in the first year of our Lake Link microtransit project.
  • 1.1 million miles traveled on a lake-friendly scooter-share service, saving 1 million pounds of CO2.
  • $2.3 billion in federal, state, and local funding authorized for environmental improvement projects. 


OUR IMPACT OVER TIME

 

1960s – Prevented a bridge being built over Emerald Bay. Stopped a plan to bring 750,000 full-time residents to Tahoe. 

1990s – Banned polluting, two-stroke jet skis. 

2002 – Ended cattle grazing in the Lake Tahoe watershed. 

2007 – Prevented a resort from cutting down an old growth forest. 

2014 – Launched the Lake’s largest annual cleanup event. 

2017 – Helped launch the nation’s first dockless bikeshare program. 

2018 – Used litter data to convince South Lake Tahoe to ban polystyrene (Styrofoam). 

2020 – Kickstarted the removal of Tahoe’s largest aquatic invasive weed infestation. 

2022 – Introduced the BEBOT to Tahoe, the first beach-cleaning robot on the West Coast. 

2022 – Used litter data to convince South Lake Tahoe to ban single-use plastic water bottles. 

2022 – Helped launch Lake Link, a free, Lake-friendly shuttle service. 

2023 – Introduced the CD3, a solar-powered cleaning station for kayaks and paddleboards to prevent invasive species from entering the Lake. 

2023 – Launched the PixieDrone, a floating, marine robot that gathers invasive weeds and trash.