Only on 2: Fireworks Debris Left in Lake Tahoe - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Only on 2: Fireworks Debris Left in Lake Tahoe

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More than 100,000 people showed up at Lake Tahoe for the 4th of July with many of them enjoying the fireworks display. But a week later, debris left over from those fireworks is turning up on local beaches.

Joan Truxler is picking up debris on that's washed up on PineWild Beach in Marla Bay. "The stuff was just floating on top of the water surface and everyday I've picked up at least a bag full."

The debris is from the fireworks show held in South Lake Tahoe on the Fourth of July. "We enjoyed them and thought they were great and I have to say I was quite naive. I didn't know that such debris resulted from fireworks."

Truxler worries that some fireworks could still be live and hurt someone. She also worries about their impact on the lake's environment.

Something the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is looking into.

"Litter is a huge concern and any type of pollutant that goes into the water is going to be something that we need to take care of," says Jeff Cowan. "What we're trying to do is trying to figure out a way that we can balance environmental protection with everyone coming up here and enjoying the lake."

Pyro Spectaculars has been putting on the annual show for more than 30 years immediately cleaning up the spent fireworks with a net and with the help of divers.

"There's a lot of effort that goes into the cleanup. We take this seriously and we have a good conscience about this. We don't want to leave the lake dirty and neither do they," says Mike Frye of the Lake Tahoe Visitor's Authority.

While much of the debris is from Pyro's Fireworks, they say a lot of it also comes from people setting off illegal fireworks from the beach and from boats.

The company has held shows for the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and the NBA finals. They say this is the first time they've had this problem. "They are not a crumby company. They are very astute company that takes incredible pride not only in their show but in cleaning up after themselves."

Nobody knows why this debris was missed and ended up on the shores, but it has Truxler asking whether fireworks are worth it.

"I think it should be cause for concern that maybe the whole community rethink how we celebrate 4th of July and is it necessary to endanger our fragile environment."

Officials say they're hoping to use this as a learning experience. That way, this type of thing won't happen again. Especially since the next fireworks display is going to happen this September on Labor Day weekend.

Written by Paul Nelson

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