new pollution hazard RENO, Nevada (AP) -- A group of property owners thinks there might be a new culprit behind Lake Tahoe's declining clarity: Goose droppings. Members of the Tahoe Lakefront Owners Association want scientists to study whether the bird feces are contributing to pollution that's eroding the lake's clarity at an average rate of more than a foot per year. The feces contain phosphorus and nitrogen, nutrients that may help fuel the algae growth that combines with sediments to reduce clarity. "We're just surprised the agencies haven't taken this problem more seriously," said Jan Brisco, executive director of the property owners' group. Brisco said she's raised the issue with officials from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, which is charged with protecting the Sierra Nevada lake famed for its clear, blue waters. "Everyone just sort of chuckled or laughed as if it were funny," Brisco said. "We think it's far from funny." Scientists at the University of California's Tahoe Research Group said that while the droppings could affect water quality where the birds are thickest, they're probably not a major source of pollution. "In a lake like Tahoe, my gut feeling is they are probably going to have very little to do with the decline in clarity we're seeing," said group scientist John Reuter.