Aquatic invasive species (AIS), introduced to Tahoe by humans, have taken over areas of Lake Tahoe and are changing the Lake we love. They are degrading water quality, disrupting the Lake’s ecology and opening the door for more invasive species to take hold. Warming waters caused by climate change are creating additional habitat along Tahoe’s shoreline for AIS to take over. Learn more about our current programs below.
The discovery of the invasive plant is not entirely new to Southern California. In 2000, small patches of another invasive Caulerpa species were found in Huntington Harbor and San Diego’s Aqua Hedionda Lagoon. At that time, a group of researchers known as the Southern California Caulerpa Action Team was formed. The team worked on a plan to remove the plant and by 2006, it had been eradicated.
Divers set out from China Cove Beach on Wednesday morning to extract the plant from the seafloor using vacuum pumps. The algae collected is then brought onshore and placed in a container where it and other solids are filtered out of the water. Once the filtering process is complete, the water is discharged back into the harbor.
The process will take four or five days to complete and much longer until scientists can determine the algae is gone for good. So far, it’s been confined to a roughly 1,000-square-foot (90-square-meter) area not far from a small but popular beach. But tiny fibers can easily break off and take hold elsewhere.
“The main goal of the Elk Point Marina bubble curtain is to keep aquatic invasive species plant fragments from entering the marina where they could establish new plant infestations, and to collect and dispose of the plant fragments,” said Charles Jennings, vice president of the Elk Point Country Club Homeowners Association