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Imagine… It’s 2050 – Lake Tahoe has 100ft of Pristine Water Clarity!

May 21, 2024 | Member Submitted

Written and Submitted by Jacquie Chandler of Sustain Tahoe

How did we do it?

In 2024, we recognized trash as the symptom of failed HOSTING: How the tourism industry, business and residents welcome, guide and host 15M annual travelers (60M car trips) coming to visit our US National Treasure in a forest without gates, will determine how much trash remains. And that awareness led to actions that created a Caring Culture!

1- Lake to water transit: The “Tahoe Express” train brings travelers into Truckee, w/connecting shuttles (wait times under 15 min) moving all around the Lake. Microtransit moves people from neighborhoods to transit hubs. Transit also runs from Reno, Carson and Sacramento (hwy 50) (TOT subsidized)

2- Water Ferries connect through Geo-Centers, where travelers can also get information specific to activities and assets in that region

3- Local Housing: All Short Term Rentals have onsite hosts (like a hotel) to answer questions, ensure safety and provide local housing, along with the ‘Vacancy Tax’ , has increased rentals for locals.     

4- Education: Destination Stewardship Certification Course 

One  year course provides an immersive understanding of the watersheds: Carrying Capacity, Indigenous Wisdom, TriNomics Geotourism. Graduates who stay on can live renovated hotels that now support Tahoe docents who have made it cool to care GeoTrack adventures

5- Daphnia Floating classroom: Tahoe Science class is taught on the lake. Students also host visitors on weekends to understand, connect and then care about the watershed – first hand. 

6-Caring Culture: Every photo posted is tagged #CooltoCare inspiring  walking softly so their actions are conducive to sustaining the lake (and welcomed back)

Moving here 25 yrs ago, I was unaware Tahoe was a sensitive watershed/wildlife habitat. The only ‘welcome packet’ I received was on BMP’s?. No realtor or new friend informed me that my actions were directly tied to lake clarity. Or how leading-by-example would help visitors slow down and walk softly to get a real sense of place.

After learning about the unique care Lake Tahoe required, I saw a presentation on tourism that ‘pays to protect’ and agreed to be the Geotourism Lision for the Tahoe watershed  With other concerned locals we formed Sustain Tahoe

For 18 years we have created and demonstrated a Destination Stewardship roadmap for sustainable prosperity that includes 100 ft of water clarity.

Yes, we have everything we need right now to build a Culture of Caring. Just imagine, it’s easy if you try. The next time you see a traveler struggling, offer some guidance, start with a caring “Hi”.

Sustain Tahoe summer events

July 8th Tahoe 4 H Camp – songs and crafts

Incline Village Welcome Center: Earth Walks and crafting on request email: sustaintahoe@gmail.com

Jacquie Chandler

Executive Director Sustain Tahoe
LinkedIn  Website

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