Lake Tahoe, CA/NV — Seven outstanding restoration, sustainability, and construction projects were recognized today as recipients of Best in the Basin awards by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) during an online meeting of the agency’s Governing Board. The projects and programs each exhibit outstanding planning and execution and lead the way in environmental stewardship in the Lake Tahoe Region, according to the agency.

Now in its 29th year, TRPA’s annual Best in the Basin awards presentation provides a moment to appreciate the hard work, collaboration, and progress made every year in pursuit of Lake Tahoe’s restoration and protection. View past winners here. This year’s award winners are:

Tahoe Blue Crew Program – League to Save Lake Tahoe

The League to Save Lake Tahoe created the Tahoe Blue Crew Program to help address the litter problem all around Tahoe. Blue Crews are groups, families, and organizations that commit to regular trash cleanups and to measuring what they retrieve. This year crews conducted more than 400 cleanups, netting over 5,000 pounds of trash from more than 100 miles of beaches, meadows, and neighborhoods.

Bow Bay Historic Home Renovation – John and Heather Mozart

Owners of a circa 1940 Julia Morgan-designed home in Rubicon Bay decided to restore the home to its original form. The renovation maintained historic integrity while incorporating fire protection measures, significant landscaping, and more modern erosion control Best Management Practices.

 East Shore Trail – Incline Village to Sand Harbor – Nevada Department of Transportation

This initial, 3-mile segment of the Lake Tahoe East Shore Trail is helping to address a host of issues on one of the busiest and most impacted travel corridors in the basin. The shared-use path is providing safer recreation access, connections between recreation areas and transit, an unparalleled recreation experience, fewer accidents, reduced impacts to air quality from vehicle use, and reduced erosion and fine sediment run-off to protect the lake’s famed water quality.

Pioneer Trail Utility Undergrounding – El Dorado County Department of Public Works

This project converted a multitude of overhead utility wires to an underground conduit bank in a TRPA-defined scenic corridor along Pioneer Trail between Black Bart Ave. and Golden Bear Tr. in South Lake Tahoe. El Dorado County and multiple utility companies partnered to relocate 5,800 feet of overhead powerlines underground to improve the scenic quality of the corridor, enhance utility reliability, and increase wildfire safety.

Sierra Boulevard Complete Streets – City of South Lake Tahoe

This project has provided tremendous benefit to the community while addressing numerous TRPA Regional Plan and environmental threshold goals. The project fully rehabilitated Sierra Boulevard in the City of South Lake Tahoe and greatly improved safety for all users of the road. It improves energy conservation and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by promoting non-motorized travel between neighborhoods and commercial centers.

 Spooner Lake Landscape Resilience Project – Nevada Tahoe Resource Team

Fuel reduction projects like the Spooner Lake Landscape Resilience Project are reaching further into the forest and combining multiple goals to protect communities, recreation, wildlife habitat, species biodiversity, cultural resources, and improve drought tolerance and water quality and quantity. The project balanced each of these goals on 300 acres of Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park to the north and east of the highly used Spooner Lake recreation area. The fuel reduction work was immense and connected to other previously treated areas. Helicopter yarding of large trees was necessary throughout the project to minimize disturbance.

Incline Creek Restoration Phase V – Incline Village General Improvement District

This project is a capstone of four restoration projects on Third and Incline creeks in Incline Village, Nevada. The project reduces erosion from stream banks and improves the water quality of Lake Tahoe by reducing fine sediment transport and restoring flood plain terraces. Perhaps most notable is the return of spawning fish to the creek, which have been absent for decades.


The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency leads the cooperative effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region, while improving local communities, and people’s interactions with our irreplaceable environment. For additional information, contact Jeff Cowen, TRPA Public Information Officer, at 775-589-5278.