Stateline, Nevada – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is continuing its strong commitment to Lake Tahoe, approving a new agreement with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) that provides $1 million in federal funding to help control, prevent, and monitor harmful aquatic invasive species in the lake.
“Aquatic invasive species (AIS) pose a major threat to the ecosystem health and economic vitality of the Tahoe Basin. The impacts of these invasions could be substantial as they crowd out native populations, impair habitats and water quality, and reduce recreational opportunities,” said Laura Whitney, program manager with the Corps.
“This new agreement between the Corps and TRPA is the second such agreement of federal investment for AIS in the Lake Tahoe Basin that the Corps has executed. The first agreement in 2008 with the California Tahoe Conservancy helped establish the boat inspection program now used throughout the basin to prevent AIS from entering Lake Tahoe. This new agreement will be carrying on with efforts of prevention to rapidly respond to any potential new threats of AIS in Lake Tahoe due to increased recreation, as well as to control and monitor existing populations. The agreement also provides a funding component for AIS education, outreach, and research,” Whitney said.
Launched in 2008, Lake Tahoe’s boat inspection program has successfully prevented the introduction of any new invasive species into the lake over the last 10 years. That accomplishment is helping TRPA, the Corps, and several dozen other partners ramp up projects and programs to control or eradicate populations of harmful invasive species already in Lake Tahoe.
“This agreement will strengthen the aquatic invasive species control program at Lake Tahoe, providing critical funding to address the challenges we are facing with invasive aquatic plants in the Tahoe Keys and at Ski Run Marina and invasive Asian clams at Sand Harbor State Park,” said Dennis Zabaglo, aquatic resources program manager for TRPA.
The funding from the Corps will also be used in part to develop a monitoring plan that ensures consistent lake-wide surveys of native and invasive plant species.
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 Tom Lotshaw, Public Information Officer, at (775) 589-5278.