Terrible consequences of a shrinking Great Salt Lake

Often overlooked as nothing more than a fetid, stagnant body of water, the lake actually supports a unique and vibrant ecosystem in and around its shores.

(Photo by Francisco Kjolseth) A gray heron stands guard alongside other waterfowl in Farmington Bay on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.

The Great Salt Lake Collaborative created an interactive website to help Utah residents understand the critical role the Great Salt Lake and its wetlands play in the ecosystem vital to 10 million birds.

The project, titled Water for Wildlife: Terrible Consequences of a Shrinking Great Salt Lake, uses stunning imagery, audio, video and text to answer questions including: Why is the lake shrinking? Why is it important for wildlife? Which birds rely on the lake? What are the solutions?

It was created with video and photos from a number of collaborators, including The Salt Lake Tribune, Fox 13 and the Deseret News for a general audience to help Utah residents understand the critical role the lake plays in the Utah ecosystem . The look and the clear writing style also appeal to children.

While Utah is benefiting from a historically large snowpack that has helped the lake rise 3 feet this winter, that doesn’t mean the lake’s problems are resolved. It hit an all-time low last November and needs another 7 feet to drop to healthy levels.

This article is published by the Great Salt Lake Collaborative, a solutions journalism initiative that brings together news, education and media organizations to educate people about the plight of the Great Salt Lake — and what can be done to help make a difference before it’s too late. Read all of our stories below greatsaltlakenews.org.

Justin Scaccy

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