U.S. Army Corp of Engineers providing $1 million to help control invasive species at Lake Tahoe

By on May 4, 2018
California tribes receive water funding from EPA

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) has announced that the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers will be providing $1 million in federal funding to help control, prevent, and monitor harmful aquatic invasive species in Lake Tahoe. 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.

Invasive species post a major threat to the ecosystem health and economic vitality of the entire Tahoe Basin said Laura Whitney, the Army Corps’ program manager. She indicated the new agreement reached with the bistate agency based in Stateline this week will bolster efforts to control, prevent and develop a basin-wide plan to monitor invasive plant species.

“This new agreement between the Corps and TRPA is the second such agreement of federal investment for aquatic invasive species (AIS) in the Lake Tahoe Basin that the Corps has executed,” said Whitney. “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.”

A 2008 Lake Tahoe boat inspection program successfully prevented the introduction of any new invasive species into the lake over the last decade. The program’s success is now 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 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,” Whitney said. “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.”

Additional information on Lake Tahoe’s AIS program can be found at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s website at:  http://www.trpa.org/programs/invasive-species/.