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Obama Speaks at Lake Tahoe Summit Tomorrow

President Obama will speak at the 20th annual Lake Tahoe Summit on Wednesday. (Tahoe Regional Planning Agency)
President Obama will speak at the 20th annual Lake Tahoe Summit on Wednesday. (Tahoe Regional Planning Agency)
August 30, 2016

LAKE TAHOE, Nev. - President Obama will headline the 20th annual Lake Tahoe Summit on water clarity on Wednesday. He'll be joined by a slate of heavy hitters, including Senator Harry Reid, as well as Governor Jerry Brown and Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein of California.

The event, at Harvey's Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino Outdoor Arena on the Nevada side of the lake, is expected to draw a sellout crowd of 7,000 people.

Julie Regan, chief of external affairs at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, said President Bill Clinton attended the first summit back in 1997, when the lake seemed to be at a tipping point, getting cloudier by the day.

"Today we've arrested that decline," she said. "We have been holding steady on lake clarity for the last 15 years. And we are hopeful that if we continue in this good direction, we'll actually get back to 100 feet of clarity, which is what it was in the 1960s."

Regan said since then regional planners have attacked the problem by instituting mandatory inspections for all boats to keep invasive species out, by lessening pollution with more public transit, and by clearing 65,000 acres of dry brush and dead trees.

Regan is hoping Congress will reauthorize the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act by the end of this year, so the good work can continue.

"We have unprecedented challenges from climate change and prolonged droughts," she added. "We're looking at tree mortality and threats from wildfire. So we've got a lot of challenges ahead."

The summit will be followed by a concert by the Nevada band, the Killers.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV