By Ryan Hill

LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) – A group of divers at Lake Tahoe is on a mission to clean up trash. The non-profit is combing through the entire 72 miles of shoreline in what might be the lake’s biggest clean-up ever.

This is more than a causal dive into the blue waters of Lake Tahoe. It’s an underwater mission that’s searching for something other than buried treasure.

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“We’ve come together to do a trash cleanup of the entire circumference of Lake Tahoe,” said Colin West, Founder & Executive Director of Clean Up The Lake.

(credit: Clean Up the Lake)

Three days a week for the next six months, wetsuits with the non-profit, Clean Up The Lake, will comb 72 miles of Lake Tahoe’s shoreline to get rid of any trash they can find.  They’ll be diving the zero to 25-foot depths of the lake.

The group has done previous cleanups in Lake Tahoe and Donner Lake.

So far, with the 72-mile cleanup, they’ve collected 800 pounds in their first three dive days since May 14.

“When you’re actually out there and you’re doing something to help the environment to help your community, it just feels good,” West said.

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They’ve gotten $250,000 in funding from grants and donations, including Tahoe Blue Vodka, the Tahoe Fund, and others.

In fact, the founder of Tahoe Blue Vodka, Matt Levitt, has participated with the dive team.

“Just one day out there to see the trash that comes out in one dive in tires and beer cans — you’re talking about tens of thousands of pounds of trash — is what we are estimating. It’s going to be amazing,” Levitt said.

They’re cleaning up for a cause and something they care deeply about.

“We all know and love Lake Tahoe and, so, we really, really want to protect it,” West said.

Aside from fishing rods, tires, and cans, Clean Up the Lake will also GPS-locate heavier trash that will need cranes to pull it out of the water.

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The clean-up effort will go until November.