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TRPA Recognizes Lake Spirit Award Winners
Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
TRPA Recognizes Lake Spirit Award Winners

December 18, 2013 by jcowen

Lake Tahoe, Stateline, NV – Eight individuals who display strong personal commitment to protecting and restoring Lake Tahoe were recognized today by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) during the third annual Lake Spirit Awards ceremony at the Agency’s Governing Board meeting in Stateline.

The Lake Spirit Awards honor real people making real progress at restoring Lake Tahoe. Four award winners (two from the North Shore and two from the South), were honored and four others received honorable mention for going above and beyond the call of duty to protect the beauty and clarity of Lake Tahoe and the Basin environment.

“They represent the essence of what it takes for a community to become true stewards of our incredibly fragile ecosystem,” TRPA Executive Director Joanne Marchetta said in announcing the awards. “They are unsung heroes who share a quiet commitment to protecting our beautiful Basin.”

Awards were given in two categories, exemplary citizen and exemplary agency representative or environmental scientist. The individuals and categories of recognition were as follows:

Exemplary Citizens
◾Tom Carter, North Shore, for spending his summers diving from his paddleboard to retrieve lost tires and debris from the bottom of Lake Tahoe.
◾Jeff Poulin, South Shore, for collecting as many as 20 bags of litter a day from alongside bike trails and roads at Lake Tahoe.

Exemplary Agency Representative or Environmental Scientist
◾Cindy Gustafson, North Shore, Tahoe City Public Utility District, for ­­­­­­­­­her years-long commitment to the north shore lake community, particularly in her perseverance to construct bike trails and sidewalks in and around Tahoe City and for her leadership in creating and chairing the non-profit environmental foundation, the Tahoe Fund.
◾Kathy Strain, South Shore, Lake Tahoe Community College, for being an inspirational and accomplished environmental science educator who also helped secure a $1 million grant to create the “Summit to Sand” environmental education program to promote environmental stewardship in the Tahoe Basin, California’s Central Valley, and the coast.

Citizens Honorably Mentioned
◾Dylan Eichenberg, North Shore, for his boundless energy and enthusiasm as a 23-year-old volunteer cleaning up graffiti on rocks along the lakeshore, picking up trash along the beaches, and pulling aquatic invasive weeds to protect Lake Tahoe.
◾Tom Wendell (posthumous), South Shore, for his years of working to encourage sustainability and being a passionate, outspoken advocate for improving recreation and non-motorized transportation at Lake Tahoe.

Agency Representatives/Scientists Honorably Mentioned
◾Missy Mohler, North Shore, Sierra Watershed Education Partnership (SWEP), for her work in the Truckee-Tahoe School District to improve student’s understanding of their watershed environment and for creating and maintaining many effective programs including the popular Trashion Fashion Shows where students design and make designer-quality clothes out of recycled materials.
◾Dan Shaw, South Shore, California State Parks, for his efforts battling Eurasian watermilfoil in Emerald Bay where 95 percent of the infestation was eradicated and agencies gained knowledge that will assist in the ongoing efforts to combat aquatic invasive plants that threaten the lake’s clarity and recreational enjoyment.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency cooperatively leads the effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region now and in the future. For additional information, call Kristi Boosman at (775) 589-5230 or email to

Media Release–Lake Spirit Awards 2013