POLLUTION AND INVASIVE SPECIES THREATEN LAKE TAHOE
Aquatic invasive plants and trash threaten the unique water quality and clarity for which Tahoe is known. Floating debris like plastic litter can leach chemicals into the aquatic environment, while each individual fragment of an invasive weed represents a new potential infestation and further harm to the Lake’s fragile ecology.
Removing weeds and water-borne trash helps ensure the Lake’s health and our enjoyment of it.
To Keep Tahoe Blue, the League teamed up with ECO-CLEAN Solutions and the Tahoe Keys Marina to bring the PixieDrone to our alpine lake. This battery-powered, autonomous and programmable, motorized skimmer glides across the water’s surface, gathering debris.
PILOT TESTING IN THE TAHOE KEYS MARINA
The Tahoe Keys Marina is almost entirely infested with aquatic invasive plants. As boats leave the marina, plants are carried into the Lake, threatening to start new infestations when they settle to the bottom and resprout.
The PixieDrone will corral, collect and remove the harmful weeds, so they can’t spread. It will also be paired with other weed control technologies, like bubble curtains, to increase efficacy. It is currently being tested in the Tahoe Keys Marina where data is being collected and operations perfected for potential future use in other parts of Tahoe.
If successful, the technology – alone and in concert with other innovative methods – can serve as a model for other water bodies around the world that face invasive species challenges.