Tahoe in the News

‘It’s a sad issue’: Emergency lake cleanup underway in Tahoe

by Suzie Dundas
January 10, 2024

The first major winter storm of the year in Lake Tahoe brought more than just snow to its sandy shores — it also spread hundreds of thousands of pieces of polystyrene into the lake.

The plastic foam particles, commonly called Styrofoam, are the remains of a floating pier likely on the northeast side of the lake, said Colin West, executive director of Clean Up the Lake and head of the ad-hoc clean up efforts.

“It broke in the worst possible area,” possibly hitting a cement boat dock at Incline Village’s Ski Beach, he said. Continued impact against the cement dock led the plastic foam dock to fall apart, sending up to 200,000 or more small pieces of polystyrene to wash up on Incline Village beaches.

“These kinds of beads, this Styrofoam-like pellets, it’s the bane of our existence,” West said. “It’s the worst possible thing that people can create and use on the lake.”

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