Improving resiliency: Tahoe Conservancy grants $1 million to local projects

Paddlers view a recreation map near Lake Tahoe’s shoreline.
Courtesy photo

The California Tahoe Conservancy has announced $1,005,800 in grants to local government agencies, a news release states.

The grants, announced last week, will support projects to expand public access to Lake Tahoe, improve water quality, and increase resilience to climate change.

“We’re excited to support these projects, which will improve water quality, restore natural places in our communities, and make it easier for everyone to access and enjoy Lake Tahoe,” said Conservancy Board Chair and El Dorado County Supervisor Sue Novasel.

The grants include $550,000 to the city of South Lake Tahoe to implement the Tahoe Valley Greenbelt and Stormwater Improvement Project. South Lake Tahoe will improve and expand shared-use trails between a commercial area and adjacent neighborhoods. The city will also remove fill, restore wetlands, and build basins and other structures to reduce pollution from storm water runoff. Using conservancy and other publicly owned lands, the project will make the South Tahoe “Y” area more walkable and bikeable, and will improve water quality draining to the Upper Truckee River and Lake Tahoe.

Placer County will get $300,000 for public outreach, preliminary design, and environmental review for the Flick Point II Water Quality & Ecosystem Improvement Project. Improvements the Placer County will include actions to reduce stream bank erosion and improve native habitat along Watson Creek, make it easier and safer for community members to access the greater North Shore bike trail network, and reduce erosion and other roadway pollutants from entering local streams and Lake Tahoe from the Flick Point neighborhood.

The North Tahoe Public Utility District will receive $130,800 to rehabilitate a scenic overlook at the Tahoe Vista Recreation Area. The district’s improvements will meet the Americans with Disability Act standards, making it easier for everyone to enjoy the scenic view and picnic area. North Tahoe Public Utility District will also install benches, picnic tables, interpretive signage, and kayak and paddleboard racks.

The Tahoe City Public Utility District will get $75,000 to replace a seasonal public restroom with an upgraded, year-round, and Americans with Disability Act-compliant restroom at the Lake Forest Boat Ramp near Tahoe City.

At the same meeting, the board discussed steps the conservancy is taking to increase racial equity in working toward its strategic plan goals.

The discussion included an update by Moisés Moreno-Rivera, assistant secretary for equity and environmental justice with the California Natural Resources Agency, on statewide goals and polices related to racial equity. Like many California state agencies, the conservancy has begun to embed racial equity into its policies and practices. The board discussed near-term plans to increase engagement with communities of color.

The board also authorized a short-term license agreement to allow Liberty Utilities to build a fence on a conservancy property in South Lake Tahoe. Building the fence will allow Liberty to meet public safety standards by expanding the size of its enclosure around an adjacent electric substation. The board also authorized an easement that will allow Liberty to continue to maintain the fence.

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