March 01, 2023

Cortez Masto Leads Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Reauthorize Lake Tahoe Restoration Act

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced her bipartisan, bicameral legislation to extend the authorization of the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act. This law has delivered millions in federal funding to Lake Tahoe since the original law passed in 2000, supporting environmental protection and habitat restoration programs across the basin. This legislation is supported by Senators Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Representatives Mark Amodei (R-Nev.-02), John Garamendi (D-Calif.-03), Dina Titus (D-Nev.- 01), Susie Lee (D-Nev.-03), and Steven Horsford (D-Nev.-04).

“We’ve made incredible progress in preserving Lake Tahoe for future generations, but there is still more to do to protect the lake from the impacts of pollution, the threat of invasive species, and the increasing number of visitors who come to enjoy the lake each year,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Reauthorizing this critical legislation will ensure the communities around Lake Tahoe continue to have the resources they need to support local jobs, welcome tourists, and combat climate change.”

“Lake Tahoe is one of our state’s natural treasures and an economic driver of Northern Nevada’s tourism and local economy. We’ve come a long way in protecting and preserving our beautiful lake and surrounding communities from the effects of climate change, and we must continue our conservation efforts,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m proud to help introduce the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act to make sure that future generations can enjoy Lake Tahoe.”

“The public-private partnership formed more than two decades ago to save Lake Tahoe has had tremendous success, investing more than $2.6 billion on nearly 750 restoration projects,” said Senator Feinstein. “But now the lake is facing new threats, particularly from climate change. The lake is warming faster than our oceans and the basin faces increased risks from wildfire. Passing our bill will reaffirm the federal government’s commitment to saving the Jewel of the Sierras.”

“Lake Tahoe is a California treasure and we must do everything we can to protect it for future generations,” said Senator Padilla. “As the threats of climate change severely escalate, we must reauthorize the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act to provide critical funding to preserve Lake Tahoe and protect it against pollution, invasive species, and wildfires.”

 “Lake Tahoe is a natural wonder and key pillar of our local economy,” said Representative Amodei. “We have a shared responsibility to preserve its beauty for generations to come, so I am proud to team up with my colleagues from Nevada and California to reauthorize funding for important management projects that will restore the environment and avert imminent threats in the Lake Tahoe Basin.”

“Anyone who’s visited Lake Tahoe understands the importance of preserving it for future generations. It is nothing less than a national treasure,” said Representative Titus. “I’m working with my colleagues to push for this critical funding to protect Nevada’s environment and boost our vibrant tourism sector.”

“Nevadans and tourists from around the world flock to Lake Tahoe by the millions each year to experience its world class skiing and boating, stunning trails, and incredible diversity of wildlife, making it a crucial part of our state’s economy and a landmark of our nation’s natural beauty,” said Representative Lee. “That’s why I’m proud to stand with my fellow Nevadans to reintroduce the Lake Tahoe Restoration Reauthorization Act. Whether it’s stopping wildfires, invasive species, or the human toll on the environment in the Tahoe Basin, we must act now to preserve the Lake and surrounding environment for generations to come.” 

“Lake Tahoe’s stunning landscapes and clear blue water make it one of the world’s finest treasures, cherished by Nevadans and tourists alike,” said Representative Horsford. “This legislation will provide critical funding to increase water clarity, combat invasive species and properly manage the Lake Tahoe basin. I’m proud to be part of this bipartisan, bicameral effort to preserve and protect Lake Tahoe for future generations of Nevadans, and all Americans, to enjoy.”

“Lake Tahoe is a national treasure,” said Representative Garamendi. "Keeping Tahoe blue should be more than a bumper sticker—it should be a priority in Congress. This bill will provide additional federal funding for public projects across the Tahoe Basin desperately needs to stop devastating wildfires with responsible forest management, restore the watersheds by reducing runoff, and combat invasive species. As the lead House author of the 2016 Lake Tahoe Restoration Act, I am thrilled to again work with my Congressional colleagues to reauthorize federal funding to Keep Tahoe Blue for residents and visitors alike for generations to come.”

Senator Cortez Masto is a longtime champion for Lake Tahoe, leading efforts in the Senate to conserve the region and protect the Lake. She secured nearly $17 million in funding for the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, in addition to critical resources to address microplastic pollution in the Lake and to improve transportation options to and from Reno. She has called for a comprehensive, collaborative, and science-based approach to protect Lake Tahoe and other water resources in Nevada from the threat of climate change and has secured authorization to create an Invasive Species in Alpine Lakes Pilot Program to protect lakes like Lake Tahoe. Senator Cortez Masto helped pass the historic Great American Outdoors Act, which was signed into law and provides robust funding to repair and maintain public lands across the country.