Clarity is the most obvious sign of Lake Tahoe's health. Although the annual average has improved in the past decade, at 73.1 feet, as measured by the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) in 2015, it is still considerably short of the federal and state restoration target of 97.4 feet.
The fine sediments from the area's fragile watershed that remain suspended in the water create cloudiness. Approximately 70% of those particulates originate from the existing transportation system and land development. Alternative transportation choices are a key to reconciling access and its impact.