Lime Hero Spotlight: The League to Save Lake Tahoe
In 2018, Lime became the first micromobility operator to offer an opt-in donation module allowing riders to round up the cost of each trip and donate the spare change to a community organization of their choice. Since then, nearly 40 local nonprofits have been added to the growing list of charitable recipients.
Lime is proud to partner with the League to Save Lake Tahoe through our Lime Hero and Lime Action programs, which encourage our riders to get involved with local organizations. The League to Save Lake Tahoe, commonly known by their slogan “Keep Tahoe Blue,” is dedicated to striking a sustainable balance between enjoyment of the Lake today and its preservation for future generations.
We spoke with Gavin Fieger, Senior Land Use Policy Analyst at the League, to learn more about their mission and how Lime riders can get involved.
Many people have seen the famous Keep Tahoe Blue stickers. Tell us more about the work that League to Save Lake Tahoe is doing.
The League was founded in 1957 by a group of concerned Tahoe-lovers in reaction to plans to develop the Tahoe Basin with four-lane highways ringing the Lake, a bridge over Emerald Bay and a population to rival San Francisco. Fortunately, they succeeded in defeating that plan and kicked off a homegrown environmental movement that has inspired countless other campaigns all over the world.
At the heart of that first effort was a desire to protect Tahoe’s unique natural environment, so it can be enjoyed long into the future. Sixty-four years later, our mission remains the same - to protect and restore the environmental health, sustainability and scenic beauty of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Today, improving transportation in Tahoe is a big priority.
We advocate for environmental protections and policies backed by science that ensure Tahoe is resilient in the face of the climate crisis. We engage Tahoe’s diverse and evolving community of visitors and residents to protect Lake Tahoe by spreading awareness and taking action. We create solutions to the challenges facing Tahoe that strike a balance between enjoyment of the Lake today and its preservation for future generations.
What are some of the threats facing Lake Tahoe?
Unchecked past development paved over much of Tahoe’s natural filtration system - its marshes and meadows. So when it rains or snow melts, the Lake Tahoe Basin behaves like a huge granite funnel, with pollution from traffic and litter flowing downhill, directly into Lake Tahoe. Aquatic invasive species, introduced unintentionally by people, have taken over areas of Lake Tahoe and are degrading its water quality, disrupting the Lake’s ecology and opening the door for more invasive species to take hold. Climate change adds insult to injury. The local impacts in Tahoe intensify every problem facing the Lake.
How big of an impact does transportation have on the lake? Does increasing access to sustainable transportation options, like e-bikes and e-scooters, help reduce this impact?
It’s absolutely critical that residents and visitors use sustainable transportation options whenever possible to get to and around Tahoe. That includes taking shuttles and public transit, carpooling, and when the weather allows for it, riding bikes or Lime e-scooters.
Even during the pandemic, the Lake is still threatened by traffic impacts, especially since people are not sharing rides as frequently. Traffic crushes Tahoe’s roads and pavements into dust and debris, which runs off Tahoe’s roads and into the Lake. This fine sediment pollution is one of the biggest threats to Lake Tahoe’s clarity. Plus, auto emissions fuel climate change which is warming Tahoe’s waters and throwing its natural ecology out of whack.
The League is working to improve Tahoe transportation by helping to create free, frequent and fun ways to get around that don’t require the personal automobile. You can help Keep Tahoe Blue by using alternative forms of transportation yourself. It’s beautiful here, so you might as well walk, bike, scoot or let someone else drive, so you can enjoy this special place.
How can Lime riders support your work?
The Lime Hero program is an easy way to support our work. Just enroll and each time you ride you’ll make small donations that add up over time. If you want to donate directly, please join our Spring Giving Campaign to help us reach our goal of $65,000.
You can visithttps://www.li.me/donateto learn more or sign up for Lime Hero in the Lime app.