Lake Tahoe Summit celebrates 25 years

Lake Tahoe is getting warmer, according to the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center

Lake Tahoe is getting warmer, according to the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center


While still pretty chilly in the spring, four buoys that have been taking Lake Tahoe’s temperature every two minutes for the last 20 years indicate the lake is warming.

In a collaborative project with NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, surface water temperatures indicated that the average water temperature for July saw another record rise, with the highest July average temperature at 68.7 degrees. The actual warmest spot reading was 72.5 degrees.

July or August are typically the warmest months of the year for the lake.

The clarity of Lake Tahoe, the quality of the nearshore environment, and the sustenance of a healthy ecosystem is linked to the temperature of the water, researchers said.

“A clearer lake is also a cooler lake,” researchers said.

On Thursday, the annual Lake Tahoe Summit will celebrate a quarter of a century with a virtual conference.

The 25th annual event will be hosted by U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., and the keynote speaker will Secretary Deb Haaland of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The event will be held online from 10 a.m. to noon.

Tahoe Fund CEO Amy Berry said the historic event is a big deal for the basin.

“It’s really a look back on 25 years of work on the Tahoe environment and also what comes next,” Berry said. “The next generation of stewards of Lake Tahoe.”

The event will bring together a variety of California and Nevada legislators, policy makers, federal agencies and private sectors to address many of the environmental issues in the basin.

The theme ‘Celebrating 25 years and looking ahead to the next generation of Lake Tahoe,’ allows panel guests to touch on current topics that are affecting the health of the lake and how to protect it.

Padilla is attending his first Tahoe Summit.

“It’s an honor to be hosting the 25th official gathering,” he told the Tribune. “California is facing many pressing challenges, particularly related to our changing climate, and I’m most excited for the opportunity to join with this group of committed leaders to move forward bold action to protect our state treasures like the Tahoe Basin for generations to come.”

He noted the importance of celebrating Tahoe’s successes and continuing to focus on public lands and national treasures in order to have more to celebrate.

“Lake Tahoe is a leading example of what we can achieve when we all work together,” Padilla said.

Berry said that hosting the event online hopefully will lead to a larger turnout, as it did last year.

“We had almost three times as many people viewing as we do in person,” she said.

TRPA Public Information Officer Jeff Cowen said that the Tahoe Summit has been making a difference in the community for years.

“The first Lake Tahoe Summit showed how important Tahoe is to our communities, the two states, and the entire nation,” he said. “Convening here annually is important to show the progress being made and to ensure the partnership stays strong. What started as an urgent response to past harms must now become our plan of action for the future.”

He said one of the biggest advantages that comes from the Summit, as well as the TRPA’s Environmental Protection Program, is the opportunity for partnerships that further protect the lake and it’s communities.

“The growing impacts of climate change, transportation challenges and sustainable recreation and tourism are basin-wide problems that can only be successfully managed through partnerships,” Cowen said.

The League to Save Lake Tahoe’s Chief Strategy Officer Jesse Patterson said that the rise in tourism is another great reason to hold the Summit.

“Over the past two years, more and more people have realized the benefits of the great outdoors and flocked to the Basin,” Patterson said. “While Tahoe sees four times the annual visitation of Yellowstone, it doesn’t have all the same protections and resources of a national park. The organizations, agencies and governments here need to double-down on our efforts to ensure that everyone can enjoy Tahoe in a way that’s sustainable for the environment, and safe for the people who live and visit here. We each have a role to play to protect Tahoe, whether you’re a visitor, resident or elected representative. Working together, we will Keep Tahoe Blue.”

Sponsors include Tahoe Fund, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, and the League to Save Lake Tahoe, among others. The full list can be found on the event’s website,

In addition, Haaland will be the first current secretary of the Interior to serve as the keynote speaker of the event since 2008.

To register for the Summit, visit


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