Wednesday May 11, 2022

San Francisco Chronicle

A first-of-its-kind project to remove underwater litter and junk along Lake Tahoe’s 72-mile shoreline concluded on Tuesday as scuba divers complete the final leg of their garbage-collecting circuit in the waters near Stateline, Nev., where they began a year ago.

The amount of trash collected: 25,200 pounds, which will increase slightly with the final haul.

And divers hope to repeat the feat for more lakes in the region, including Fallen Leaf, a small lake adjacent to Tahoe, and June Lake, a popular fishing and camping destination in the Eastern Sierra.

In Tahoe, divers — aided by boaters and other volunteers — made 189 dives over 81 days. They pulled out cell phones, sunglasses, flip-flops, vape pens, cigarette butts, condoms, golf balls, ice cream sticks, broken fishing gear and plastic bags, as well as countless aluminum cans, and plastic and glass bottles. Divers also excavated oddities like spent fireworks tubes, sex toys and a boom box, in addition to cumbersome objects like car tires and building materials that likely were dumped intentionally. Larger, heavier items, like rusted engine blocks or abandoned sunken boats, were geotagged in the hopes they can be retrieved later with burlier equipment.

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