Crisis averted after woman finds thousands of plastic balls in Lake Tahoe

Good News Notes:

An environmental crisis was narrowly averted after a woman found thousands of tiny polystyrene balls covering a beach on Tahoe’s north shore.

Alison Toy, the education program manager for UC Davis’ Tahoe Environmental Research Center, was on a walk on Moon Dune beach when she came across the little white balls coating the sand and washing into the lake Thursday. 

“After being totally devastated, my first thought was, I need to sound the alarm right away,” Toy told South Tahoe Now. Toy then took photos and video of the scene and posted them on her Instagram account. “The response I got from people on Instagram was immediate and overwhelming. Dozens of people were outraged and wanted to help.”

The post was also shared among the League to Save Lake Tahoe, Keep Tahoe Blue and the popular I Love Lake Tahoe Facebook group. Community members soon came to Moon Dune, near Kings Beach, with a variety to implements to dredge up the Styrofoam-like balls. South Tahoe Now reports in a few hours, volunteers were able to clean the beach with “rakes, colanders, sieves and trash bags.”

Toy eventually pulled the probable culprit from the water: a busted pool floatie. The pink butterfly “pool petz” flotation device is sold by Big Joe. The company says the product is “filled with our patented beans for a buoyant float that’s also lightweight and easy for kids to carry.” The instructions caution it is intended for use only in pools….”

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