Tahoe Goes High Tech to Fight Aquatic Invasive Plants

South Lake Tahoe, CA…The Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD), in collaboration with Inventive Resources, Inc., announce that for the first time, ultraviolet light will be tested in open waters of Lake Tahoe to kill aquatic invasive plants. This initiative is possible thanks to a grant for project implementation from the California Tahoe Conservancy and seed funding from the Tahoe Fund.

New research shows that ultraviolet-C (UVC) light could be an effective method to eliminate aquatic invasive plants. UVC light works by damaging the DNA and cellular structure of invasive plant life that currently threaten the health of the Lake. While this technology needs to have further field testing to determine its full potential, Ultra-violet light could augment the currently available methods Tahoe RCD already uses especially in low water years, in tight spaces within marinas, or in river systems.

This effort was launched with seed funding provided by the Tahoe Fund through their new Environmental Venture Trust program. The Tahoe Fund seeks to support projects that promote innovation to address degradation of Lake Tahoe’s natural resources. Additional in-kind support for the project will be provided by the Lakeside Park Association.

“We are thrilled to be a part of such an exciting project that demonstrates the innovative impact technology can have on the environment and our community,” said Amy Berry, CEO of the Tahoe Fund. “We are so proud that we were able to help leverage one of the most important environmental issues facing Lake Tahoe today with this small contribution.”

“From our efforts in Emerald Bay, we know that invasive plant populations can be reduced, and with continued treatments and new tools, we will be better able to manage populations around the lake in the future,” said Nicole Cartwright, Aquatic Invasive Species Program Manager for Tahoe RCD.

“We are very excited to bring this technology to a new forefront,” said John Paoluccio, President of Inventive Resources, Inc. “A project using UV light to reduce aquatic plant infestations has been very successful in our laboratory and we anticipate it will be a potentially successful tool to control aquatic invasive plants in Tahoe and other waterways.”

The project has begun and is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

About the Tahoe Resource Conservation District
Tahoe Resource Conservation District’s mission is to promote conservation, stewardship and knowledge of the Lake Tahoe Region’s natural resources by providing leadership and innovative environmental services to all stakeholders. The Tahoe RCD is a non-regulatory, grant-funded, public agency that works with partner agencies to implement projects, programs and outreach which currently focus on stormwater management, aquatic invasive species prevention and control, conservation landscaping and restoration.

About the Aquatic Invasive Species Program
The Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinating Committee provides leadership, direction, and resources to fulfill the Aquatic Invasive Species Program’s mission of prevention, detection, and control of aquatic invasive species in the Lake Tahoe Region. The Committee is co-chaired by the Tahoe Resource Conservation District and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. The collaborative framework of the Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program consists of public and private partner organizations including federal, state and local jurisdictions, research partners, special districts, and private businesses.