Why We Advocate for Great Salt Lake

Protecting the environment is not like building a highway or painting a building. You can't do it and walk away from further work. You must stay everlastingly at it, or things begin to slide.

Wm. D. Ruckelshaus, 1st and 5th EPA Administrator

At the 1996 Biennial Great Salt Lake Issues Forum, six major threats to the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem were identified.

  • Ignorance about the Lake
  • Development in the uplands and wetlands
  • Diverting riverine and instream flows that would normally enter the Lake
  • Discharges into the Lake from industry and a growing population
  • Water for the system
  • Climate change

Using these threats as guidelines for our Lake work, we are strategically moving forward on a variety of fronts to preserve and protect this hemispherically important ecosystem.

Located next to a growing metropolitan area, with a population predicted to surpass 5 million people by 2050, the ecological and economic sustainability of Great Salt Lake poses an interesting challenge. The Lake not only generates billions of economic dollars for the State but is an extremely fragile and complex system.

FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake's mission is protecting the Great Salt Lake ecosystem through education, research, advocacy, and the arts. We strive to build collaborative partnerships to promote Great Salt Lake watershed health and habitat sustainability. And when necessary, work with legal resources to elevate the importance of these issues to get the attention needed for responsible results. As long as the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem is dealt with as an isolated drying up body of water, its importance will always be marginalized when confronted with the "needs of the people."