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Threatened Clarity of Lake Tahoe

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Earth and Space Sciences +1 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old), Post-Secondary

Tahoe has become something of a symbol of the controversial balance between preserving and expanding into natural systems. Tahoe’s clarity has also been decreasing since at least 1968 from 100 foot visibility to about 70, with fine particles largely from urban expansion as one of the main causes, as well as introduction of invasive species. These photos and questions will help students to understand some of the reasons why Tahoe is becoming murkier, and can provoke relevant ideas about how to slow that loss of clarity down or even reverse it, so that future generations of people and native species can enjoy and rely on this magnificent lake for the foreseeable future, as they have in the past. Simply click the paperclip in each image to see the questions or prompts pertaining to that photo. This collection is ideal for a discussion based lesson among classmates or friends.