SACRAMENTO – California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird and Nevada Director of Conservation and Natural Resources Bradley Cowell issued the following joint statement on a report indicating Lake Tahoe’s clarity decreased to a record-low annual average in 2017. The report released by the Tahoe Environmental Research Center at the University of California, Davis, highlighted the combination of historic drought and one of the wettest winters on record as key factors contributing to low lake clarity last year.

“According to the latest data, one of the most iconic indicators of Lake Tahoe’s health – lake clarity – registered its lowest recorded annual level in 2017. While annual clarity declines are not unusual, the record decline experienced last year warrants an in-depth review to further understand the causes and impacts, and to help ensure the 2017 decrease is an anomaly, and not a trend.

“After 20 years of significant investment to protect the clarity of Lake Tahoe, we take this development seriously. As the natural resources leads for our states, we are asking the science community to take a fresh look at factors affecting lake clarity and recommend actions to continue our success in protecting the ecological health of Lake Tahoe in a time of changing climate.”

A joint letter to the Tahoe Science Advisory Council from Secretary Laird and Director Crowell can be found here.