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What is happening to the Great Salt Lake?

What is happening to the Great Salt Lake?
Photo by Ruston Jones / Unsplash

The Great Salt Lake, which is the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere, is facing several environmental challenges that are affecting its ecosystem and the wildlife that depend on it. Here are some of the major issues affecting the Great Salt Lake:

  1. Declining water levels: The Great Salt Lake is fed by several rivers and streams, but its water levels have been declining in recent years due to drought, water diversions, and climate change. This has led to the exposure of large areas of lakebed, which has created dust storms and affected air quality in the surrounding areas.
  2. Salinity levels: The Great Salt Lake is much saltier than the ocean, with salinity levels that can vary greatly depending on the lake's water levels. However, as the water levels continue to decline, the lake's salinity levels are becoming more concentrated, which can affect the health of the lake's wildlife and plant species.
  3. Algal blooms: The Great Salt Lake is prone to algal blooms, which occur when excessive nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, enter the lake. These blooms can be harmful to the lake's ecosystem and pose a threat to human health.
  4. Habitat loss: As the water levels decline, the wetlands and marshes that surround the Great Salt Lake are shrinking, which has a negative impact on the many bird species that rely on the lake as a breeding and nesting ground.

Efforts are being made to address these environmental challenges and protect the Great Salt Lake's ecosystem. These efforts include water conservation measures, restoration of wetlands and other habitats, and research on the lake's ecology and environmental health.