TRPA Accepting Lottery Applications for New Tahoe Piers

Lake Tahoe, CA/NV –The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) will be accepting lottery entries between June 1 and June 30 this year for the limited number of pier allocations allowed every two years under the Shoreline Plan, the agency said today.

Adopted by the TRPA Governing Board in 2018, the Shoreline Plan lifts a longstanding moratorium on new shorezone structures and places a cap on the number of private piers and buoys allowed at Lake Tahoe. The Shoreline Plan allows additional piers and moorings to be permitted at a measured rate through periodic lotteries until the cap is met.  The plan allows for a maximum of 128 private piers and 1,486 new private moorings.

Every two years, TRPA can permit up to 12 new piers in the Tahoe Basin, with a preference for multiple-parcel, shared use piers. Through the lottery, TRPA will select applications that can move forward to the permitting process by July 20, 2021. No additional pier allocations will be available until 2023.

Information and instructions for the lottery application process and eligibility criteria are available here.

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, Public Information Officer, at (775) 589-5278 or

30th Annual Best in the Basin Nominations

30th Annual Best in the Basin Nominations

Lake Tahoe, CA/NV — The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) is calling for nominations for projects completed in 2020 that display outstanding environmental design to be recognized in the 2020 Best in the Basin awards program, the agency announced today. Nominations are due by June 18.

Nominate a project here.
The nomination period is open until June 18, 2021.

Now in its 30th year, TRPA’s annual Best in the Basin awards program showcases projects around the lake that demonstrate exceptional planning, implementation, and compatibility with Tahoe’s natural environment and communities. The categories are:

  • Building and general construction projects
  • Water quality, restoration, and erosion control projects
  • Defensible space and forest health projects
  • Public/Environmental Improvement Program projects
  • Sustainability actions and projects

For three decades, the Best in the Basin awards program has recognized property owners, contractors, architects, and planners whose work and investment stand out as brilliant examples of environmental design in the Tahoe Basin. For information about past winners, visit the program webpage.

Projects completed between January 1 and December 31, 2020 can be nominated for consideration by the judging panel this summer. Winners will be selected by a panel of local professionals in the fields of architecture, landscaping, planning, engineering, or resource management along with TRPA planners. Those selected to receive awards will be publicly honored by the TRPA Governing Board and will be highlighted in an issue of Tahoe In Depth.

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.

Elk Point Bubble Curtain Protects Against Aquatic Weeds

Elk Point Bubble Curtain Protects Against Aquatic Weeds

Zephyr Cove, NV — When Charles Jennings moved to Elk Point four years ago, he noticed thick green and brown plants dominating the bottom of the marina. The plants were knocked back last fall but could possibly return. A new, innovative bubble curtain installed across the marina entrance earlier this month is making the possibility of another weed infestation less likely.

The Tahoe Resource Conservation District and Marine Taxonomic Services made the initial treatment in the marina in 2018 by installing underwater mats called bottom barriers, which starve the invasive weeds of sunlight. But the initial treatment does not guarantee the plants won’t return.

“The main goal of the Elk Point Marina bubble curtain is to keep aquatic invasive species plant fragments from entering the marina where they could establish new plant infestations, and to collect and dispose of the plant fragments,” said Charles Jennings, vice president of the Elk Point Country Club Homeowners Association.

The homeowners association, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), the Tahoe Fund, and the League to Save Lake Tahoe partnered to fund a bubble curtain across the marina entrance to keep invasive plant fragments from reestablishing in the marina. Perforated air hose lines on the bottom of the channel create walls of bubbles that help slow plant fragments from entering the treated area. Unlike the bubble curtains in the channels of the Tahoe Keys, this bubble curtain works in reverse, to keep plant fragments out, rather than in.

“We are excited to partner on this innovative new use of a bubble curtain to keep aquatic invasive plants out of the marina,” said Amy Berry, Tahoe Fund CEO. “Aquatic invasive species are one of the great challenges the lake faces, and it is going to take all of us working together on new solutions.”

Aquatic invasive weeds such as Eurasian watermilfoil are not native to Tahoe and without a natural check to their growth, the weeds quickly colonize and outcompete native species. Watercraft can spread aquatic weeds around the lake from fragments tangled on their propellers and anchors, resulting in new infestations that are expensive and difficult to treat.

“It’s a constant battle to control and treat aquatic weeds,” said Dennis Zabaglo, TRPA aquatic resources program manager. “Fortunately, we collaborate with many public and private partner organizations like Elk Point Country Club to implement the best emerging technologies to protect the lake.”

The addition of the bubble curtain at Elk Point is an example of the technology’s multiple uses to protect and restore Lake Tahoe. The jointly funded bubble curtain is a way to protect collaborative investments in past successful AIS treatments.

“Our three years of experience with the bubble curtain pilot program in the Tahoe Keys have proven this innovative technology is an important ingredient in tackling the most dire ecological threat to Lake Tahoe,” said Jesse Patterson, chief strategy officer for the League to Save Lake Tahoe. “We’re proud to build on that success by working with the folks at Elk Point, TRPA and the Tahoe Fund to put aquatic invasive species in check and Keep Tahoe Blue.”

The multi-agency Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species action agenda calls for continuation of the comprehensive watercraft inspection program to protect the lakes of the region from new AIS, and a control program to tackle invasives that were introduced before watercraft inspections began in 2008. Since the start of mandatory inspections at Tahoe, no new AIS have been detected in the basin.

The Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program is implemented by 40 public and private partner organizations, including federal, state, and local jurisdictions, research partners, public utility districts, and private marinas. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Tahoe Resource Conservation District lead the program in collaboration with the public and private partners. The program’s mission is to prevent, detect, and control aquatic invasive species in the Region so that future generations can enjoy Lake Tahoe. For additional information, contact Jeff Cowen, TRPA Public Information Officer, at 775-589-5278.