Mammoth Lakes Tourism (MLT) is investing $100,000 to preserve their lakes with their new Clean Up the Lake (CUTL) initiative. Every dollar raised over until 2026 (up to $100,000) will be matched by MLT. Pilot research dives in four of the lakes in the Mammoth Lakes Basin including Lake George, Twin Lakes, Lake Mary and Lake Mamie over the past year resulted in a greater understanding of the environmental issues present – and remediation necessary – to ensure the health and future protection of the area’s namesake treasures.

Team assembling to start clean up in Lake George. Photo by Samantha Lindberg

“There is a widespread litter problem that has been ignored for decades in freshwater lakes all across the Sierra,” said CUTL Founder & Executive Director Colin West, “and action is necessary to ensure the future protection of the region’s most valuable resource.” 

Since September, volunteers from CUTL have initiated a full-scale cleanup and aquatic invasive species survey of Lake George’s 2-mile circumference working with volunteer scuba divers, free divers and kayakers to remove fishing debris, plastic pollution and understand other threats to the environment. 

Two divers descending to clean up at the bottom of Lake George. Photo by Samantha Lindberg.

CUTL will also be working alongside MLT to engage with visitors and the local community to increase education and further volunteer efforts towards remediating the issues at hand.

Removal of submerged litter, documenting any and all aquatic invasive species threatening the lakes, working to protect animal species both above and below the surface, and prevention of future pollution are key goals of the partnership.

Kayakers, divers, and many other volunteers are needed. Photo by Samantha Lindberg

“Not only will this work have an immediate impact on our pristine mountain lakes,” said MLT Executive Director, John Urdi, “but it will also highlight the importance of protecting the places we play, both for visitors, and locals alike. There is a big impact on our environment that is happening just below the surface. Much of this litter is out of sight and therefore, out of mind.”

Donations can be made via GoFundMe. To learn more about Clean Up The Lake and for more information about volunteer opportunities, visit

Twins Lake, photo by Samantha Lindberg

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