Great Salt Lake, Spring Relief

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Great Salt Lake, Spring Relief

Date: 04/08/2024     State: UT     Issues: Watersheds, Wildlife     Partners: Cache County Water Conservation District, Friends of Great Salt Lake, Great Salt Lake Collaborative, Grow the Flow - Utah, Jordan River Commission, Sageland Collaborative, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Youth Coalition for Great Salt Lake Airport Origin : Ogden, UT    


Bring stakeholders, electeds, faith and community leaders, conservationists, scientists, media, Utah Representative Raymond Ward, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Utah DEQ and Dep. of Health, and a GSL youth advocacy group together to advance solutions and bring public awareness to the Great Salt Lake crisis.

As the largest saltwater lake in the Western hemisphere, the Great Salt Lake covered 3,300 square miles in the late 1980s, but now covers only 1,000 square miles. This decrease poses massive threats to the 2 million people living in the surrounding region, which is the most densely populated area in Utah. The lake contains toxic materials and as it dries, dust, metals and chemicals like arsenic will become windblown, poisoning the air. The dwindling water level threatens the lake's 1.3 billion dollar economy in recreation, brine shrimp, and mineral extraction, including magnesium, of which 75% of the global supply comes from the Great Salt Lake. The water level reached its lowest in November 2022.

This climate change induced disaster poses immediate threats to the communities that surround the Great Salt Lake, as well as the species that are supported by and reside in the lake. The algae, flies, and brine shrimp will die off, threatening the 10 million migratory birds that annually stop and feed at the lake.

Our partners are working to spread awareness about this pressing issue in hopes of a sustainable solution. The Jordan, Weber, and Bear Rivers provide water for crops and Wasatch Front communities before feeding into the Great Salt Lake. Increasing the water level in the Great Salt Lake means diverting less water to farmers and residents, when excessive heat is requiring more water for crops and lawns. The solution to the Great Salt Lake crisis is complex, but it is clear, action is needed now.

Thank you to our flight partners for their work to protect Utah communities and wildlife and to save the Great Salt Lake! Check out articles from passengers Jonathan Sharp, ABC4 and Megan Banta, Salt Lake Tribune. And, a big thanks to Mary Anne Karren and Kenny Katnik for joining EcoFlight to organize these overflights.

Click for photos from the 4/8 or 4/9 overflightsClick for EcoFlight’s Great Salt Lake photo collectionClick for geo-referenced photos from 4/8 or from 4/9.


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