Report: Climate Change Threatening Summer Recreation

Change Also Causing Increase In Tick-Borne Illnesses

August 15, 2018 - 1:26 pm

CARSON CITY, NV (KXNT) - Climate change is threatening several of the outdoor activities that people enjoy in summer months, according to a new report released on Wednesday from the National Wildlife Federation. In Nevada, the threat includes warming waters and algae blooms in Lake Tahoe and Lake Mead. 

For many Americans, summertime is synonymous with getting outside to have fun. But a new report sheds light on how climate change is threatening beloved summer activities across the country. The National Wildlife Federation's Safeguarding Summer report, released Wednesday, shows in addition to making summers hotter, climate change is causing an increase in tick-borne illnesses, eroding beaches, and causing even more summer baseball game rain-outs. Rebekah Stetson with the National Wildlife Federation in Nevada said the state relies on summer recreation as a major contributor to the economy. But she also said popular Nevada recreation sites are threatened too.

"Lake Tahoe is not just a treasure for Nevada, but a national treasure. And so, the clarity of the lake has changed and then the lake has started to warm, and so both of those things are definitely a cause of concern," said Stetson.

The report points out Lake Tahoe and Lake Mead have both had public health advisories due to toxic algae blooms in recent years. Those are caused by warmer climates and heavier precipitation.

The report also said the only way to combat these kinds of threats to summer recreation is to work to slow climate change. Doug Inkley is former senior scientist with the National Wildlife Federation.

"We can just can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels but we have the means to actually use alternative energy sources. Now's the time. The sooner we do it the better. If we wait too long it's going to become much harder to do and the impacts of climate change are going to be much greater on all of us," said Inkley.