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Keep Tahoe Blue

October 13 2010 | Beach access, Jim's Blog,
by Jim

Upon arriving in Lake Tahoe I was instantly reminded of the success of the Keep Tahoe Blue campaign. In some ways it represents the ultimate achievement for an environmental campaign in that it has moved beyond an insiders-only club to become a wide-scale movement. For an environmental campaign to be accepted by the masses it has to stop being guarded by "capital 'e' environmentalists" in order to gain support from the "lower-case 'e' environmentalists." The former is a smaller group (insiders) and the latter group consists of everyone else. Keep Tahoe Blue has done this well. Of course this immediately makes me think of Surfrider's campaigns. What would it take for the people of Japan to embrace the idea of NOT dumping radioactive waste into the nearshore ocean currents north of Tokyo? What would have to happen for the people of Maine to see that privatizing their coastlines is a bad thing (60ish% of Maine's coasts are inaccessible by the public)? Just past the exclusive Hamptons on Long Island, it's illegal to paddle out and surf. What would it take to shift the eastern Long Island culture into seeing this as... crazy? Keep Tahoe Blue is a success because the message is simple, sustained over decades and pushed out to the masses. All environmental campaigns should look to leaders like this one and learn from them.
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