LAND TO LAKE is an environmental art experience with data-driven storytelling that takes viewers on a journey through the anthropogenic (man-made) impacts on the terrestrial and aquatic ecology of the Lake Tahoe Basin, as well as the solutions required to restore balance. Ethereal narration by an indigenous tribal elder, one of the very last speakers of the ancient and endangered Washoe (Wašiw) language, intertwines with animated data visualizations that help create an emotional connection to the scientific and cultural knowledge of the greater Lake Tahoe region.
LAND TO LAKE is an aesthetic interpretation of scientific datasets providing a visual and sonic exploration of Lake Health, Biodiversity, Climate Change, and Solutions, culminating with a call to action for preserving and protecting the azure waters of Lake Tahoe for generations to come.
TPA's team worked in close collaboration with the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) to analyze data sets from their annual "State of the Lake" report and distill the information down to a few of the most critical elements impacting lake clarity, mainly nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emitted from automobile tailpipes, phosphorus (P) from fertilizer runoff, and a lack of oxygen (O2) mixing to the lower levels of the lake.
Lake Tahoe is one of the most important lakes in the world due to its depth and clarity. It’s the largest alpine lake in North America and the second deepest lake in the US. Climate scientists from around the world study climate change impacts on Lake Tahoe, as reports show average water temperature is steadily increasing at 15 times the historic average, and warming water has major implications, including a decrease in lake clarity.
"The land, the water, and the people are ONE."
The Lake Tahoe Basin provides habitat for more than 290 bird, animal and fish species, and more than a thousand different plant species. Included are 16 species of imperiled wildlife—the endangered bald eagle and peregrine falcon, the osprey, goshawk and spotted owl, and the once abundant Lahontan cutthroat trout. In pre-western times, the air and water temperatures provided a hospitable environment for these species to survive and thrive.
Man-made impacts have transformed the natural and cultural landscape of the Lake Tahoe Basin by reshaping the local ecology, threatening the survival of species, and depositing pollutants that jeopardize the longevity of the lake as we know it.
- Orange Waves: Forest fires, bark beetles, erosion, etc.
- White Bars: Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) - emitted from fossil fuels
- Orange Particles: Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) - emitted from automobile tailpipes
- Blue Particles: Phosphorous (P) - concentrated in fertilizer runoff
- White Triangles: Oxygen (O2) - stuck on the top layers of the lake, not mixing due to lake temperature
Humans have the power to create changes in the chemistry and biology of the lake by activating solutions that help restore a balance between the land, the water, and the people.
- Reduce NOx (promote electric cars, public transportation, human-powered vehicles)
- Reduce P (erosion mitigation and fertilizer management)
- Reduce GHG (reduce consumption of coal, plastic, and meat-based products)
- Increase O2 (lake layer mixing with cooler waters will bring oxygen to the bottom lake layers)
CALL TO ACTION
“If as a people we help the water and help the forests, it, in turn, will help us heal ourselves.”
The time is NOW for us to individually and collectively take action locally by reducing pollutants feeding harmful nutrients into the lake, while being globally minded by minimizing our impacts that contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere, which in turn prevents oxygen from reaching the lake bed which can trigger large-scale algal blooms.
We are all interconnected in the Web of Life, if we want to preserve and protect the crystal clear azure waters of Lake Tahoe, we must activate ourselves to start Creating Equilibrium.
Mia Hanak - Conceptual Design
Isabelle Fournet - Curatorial Development and Creative Design
Celeste Lear - Musical Composition and Sound Design
Heather Segale - TERC Climate Science Education
Melba Rakow - Washoe & English Narration
Toney Park - Photography
tahoepublicart.org | email@example.com | +1-530-580-8121
Follow us: @TahoePublicArt @CreatingEquilibrium @UCD_TERC @VoiceForLakeTahoe
Download the Citizen Science Tahoe App: citizensciencetahoe.org
2016 State of the Lake Report: terc.ucdavis.edu/stateofthelake/index.html
Participate in the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program: eip.laketahoeinfo.org/
Learn about the Washoe Tribe of CA and NV: washoetribe.us/contents/