UV Light Pilot Project Now Underway
An innovative pilot project to test the use of UV light to fight aquatic invasive weeds in Lake Tahoe is now underway. The UV light boat has been deployed in South Lake Tahoe, CA and will begin analyzing the effects of deep penetrating UV light on aquatic invasive weeds in a marina and open water setting through 2018. Within the first week of use, half of the weeds in the marina have already been killed. The UV Light Pilot Project is a partnership between Tahoe Resource Conservation District, Inventive Resources, Inc., The California Tahoe Conservancy and the Tahoe Fund.
Research shows that ultraviolet-C (UVC) light could be an effective method to eliminate aquatic invasive plants. UVC light works by damaging the DNA and the cellular structure of invasive plant life that currently threaten the clarity and health of the Lake. If proven successful, the method can be deployed around infested areas of Tahoe and other clear water lakes around the world.
“It’s really exciting to see that just after a week, the half of the marina that has been treated is weed free. With more testing, we hope this could be a viable long-term tool,” said Amy Berry, Tahoe Fund CEO. “By providing early-stage funding through our Environmental Venture Trust, we were able to help secure more than $260,000 in public funds to get this project started. Hopefully this is just the first of many innovative environmental improvement projects around the Lake we can help kick-start.”
“From our efforts in Emerald Bay, we know that invasive plant populations can be reduced, and with continued treatments and new tools, we will be better able to manage populations around the lake,” said Nicole Cartwright, aquatic invasive species program manager for the Tahoe Resource Conservation District.
“We are very excited to bring this technology to a new forefront,” said John Paoluccio, President of Inventive Resources, Inc. “A project using UV light to reduce aquatic plant infestations has been very successful in our laboratory and we anticipate it will be a successful tool to control aquatic invasive plants in Tahoe and other waterways.”