More than three-quarters of the 4.25 tons of litter picked up from just the Fourth of July was left by crowds on a beach near the old Dreyfus Estate.
Known as Zephyr Shoals, the unmanaged beach sees packed crowds dodging the fees charged at Zephyr Cove Resort and other beaches where alcohol is not allowed.
The League to Save Lake Tahoe reported 402 volunteers helped clean Lake Tahoe beaches on Wednesday.
“An astounding 6,279 pounds of litter – the equivalent of a three-quarter ton pickup truck – was strewn across the narrow strip of sand and piled between bushes and trees in the nearby forest,” according to the League.
The area is cleaned regularly by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s “Tahoe Blue Crew,” a volunteer program offered by the League.
“Although they cleaned the beach just before the Fourth of July, an amazing amount of trash accumulated in just one day,” according to the League.
Over the course of three hours on the morning of July 5, volunteers cleaned up 8,559 pounds of litter left from Fourth of July celebrations at Lake Tahoe, an all-time high.
“Cigarette butts, plastic food wrappers, beach toys and even barbecues were plucked from six popular beach sites, as well as nearby parking lots and streets, around the Tahoe Basin,” League officials said. “Several of the sites were relatively litter-free, including Commons Beach in Tahoe City and Kings Beach State Recreation Area, showing the impact that trash cans, restrooms and management staff can have to prevent pollution.”
The League to Save Lake Tahoe has organized the annual July 5th “Keep Tahoe Red, White & Blue” Beach Cleanup since 2014.
“This morning, one of Tahoe's beaches looked like a landfill. Thanks to passionate volunteers and community partners, it started to look like Tahoe again after some hard work,” said League CEO Dr. Darcie Goodman Collins. “To Keep Tahoe Blue, everyone who enjoys this place must act more like our volunteers and partners by doing their part. It starts with leaving nothing behind and picking up any trash you come across. Unless each of us share in the responsibility for protecting this place, it could be ruined.”