At the end of last Sunday's vlog post where we explored an abandoned miner's cemetery you probably noticed an incredibly gorgeous lake under a pastel sunset, crowned by snow capped peaks. Believe it or not, this is a dying lake.
Utah Lake is the largest fresh water body of water in the State at 150 square miles in size. That is equivalent to Salt Lake City itself. It is massive, however, quite shallow. I'll explain later why this is part of the problem.
The slow poisoning of this lake began in the 1890s when nearby cities began draining their sewage into the waters. A steel mill added to the toxic stew by discharging heavy metal waste into the lake. This continued into the 1950s, but the halt was not enough. Pollution continues to find its path into the lake to this day.
In 2016 a toxic algae bloom sickened over 100 people recreating there. Summers are especially dangerous as half of Utah Lake's water evaporates each year causing a concentration of toxic sediment, microscopic algae and bacteria.
Millions have been spent reintroducing native fish, removing invasive & toxic plants, fishing out carp and conducting tireless studies to find a solution to saving this Utah jewel. Without intervention of some sort this beautiful paradise will seize to exist. The takeaway for us is that every decision you make matters regarding your own footprints and even the largest eco systems can become the most fragile. May we all learn to be part of the solution someday and learn to be less a part of the problem. This starts with small steps and an ounce of awareness.
This week's video here: