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Flights over Great Salt Lake highlight need for action

Posted at 6:00 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 09:12:41-04

SALT LAKE CITY — It's no secret that the Great Salt Lake is shrinking at an alarming rate, hitting yet another historic low in July, but a nonprofit is taking flight to provide the public with an aerial view of what is at risk.

READ: Great Salt Lake drops to a new historic low

EcoFlight believes that taking flight and encouraging "conservation conversations" in the air will raise awareness about how to protect wild areas; in this case, the Great Salt Lake.

“People need to understand that this incredible resource you have up here is being diminished to a point that it won’t be viable anymore, so trying to figure out what you can do, how you can take action,” said Chief Pilot and EcoFlight founder Bruce Gordon.

They believe that stakeholders can find common solutions through "conversations in the air" as the environmental challenges are more apparent from a bird's eye view.

“I think there’s something about the awe of seeing the landscape from above that you just can’t get on the ground,” said Mary Anne Karren, a photographer who has been taking pictures of birds at the lake, and was on the flight Thursday.

“We are starting to see dust impact our local communities . . . pretty soon we’re going to start seeing a decrease in brine shrimp on the lake that not only feeds birds, but they also feed people indirectly,” said Jaimi Butler, Coordinator of the Great Salt Lake Institute at Westminster College.

The goal is to be a part of the solution. Butler says that’s where all of us come in. The first step is understanding the factors at play.

Butler says the goal is to be part of the solution, whether it's children learning about the lake, land developers looking to the future, or legislators looking for answers.

“We inspire you to educate yourself and then take action . . . call your representatives . . . do whatever you think is correct for these issues, but make sure you advocate for what you care about in an educated way,” says Gordon.

FOX 13 is part of the Great Salt Lake Collaborative, an organization of local news outlets, academic leaders, and community organizations calling attention to the challenges facing the Great Salt Lake and examining solutions to save it. Go here for more information about its mission.

EcoFlight offers free flights to the public as part of its mission to educate and advocate; go here to learn more.