Saving Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

JSM with Ivan Azurdia Director of Lake Attilan Management Authority

TRPA Director Joanne S. Marchetta with the Executive Director of the Lake Atitlan Management Authority (AMSCLAE) following an exchange of information and ideas on August 20, 2013 following the 2013 Lake Tahoe Summit

Lake Atitlan in Guatemala has long been celebrated for its clear waters and surrounding beauty. Aldous Huxley compared it to Italy’s Lake Como, “with the additional embellishment of several immense volcanoes.” More recently, however, Lake Atitalan has been experiencing extensive blue-green algal blooms, an increasingly common phenomena around the world, which jeopardizes tourism industries and local health. A USAID-funded project
has attempted to determine the causes and potential solutions for this problem at Lake Atitlan, and has determined that sewage inputs and erosion are the primary factors causing lake deterioration.

The TRPA was proud to greet officials, NGO representatives and property owners from Guatemala in August to demonstrate the underpinnings of our effort to protect and preserve Lake Tahoe. Our parallel history with wastewater export and erosion control as well as TRPA’s regional authority and partnership approach made the Agency an important part of the delegation’s tour of the area.

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