Letter: Don’t let the Great Salt Lake get smaller

USA Utah News

When my pioneer ancestors arrived here, one of their first impressions of the valley would have been the Great Salt Lake glittering in the middle of a harsh landscape.

They might have even participated in the salty Fourth of July swim in 1851 or been among the hundreds that flocked to the lake for healing in the 1870s.

With the lake’s importance to our history and lives, I wonder: Why are we still entertaining proposals for river diversions that would further lower lake levels?

With Kevin Parry’s recent findings that 43,600 acres of exposed lakebed — including areas with heavy metals — are likely to increase the amount of particles known as PM10 in the air in the Salt Lake Valley, it’s clear that we should take action to restore lake levels.

PM10 increases are concerning, especially considering our already-poor air quality and the particle’s connection to heart and lung issues.

And I won’t delve into how lowering lake levels affects the millions of migratory birds that depend on the lake for their survival.

To make matters worse, according to Utah Rivers Council, most of the water from the proposed Bear River diversion will be used to water lawns.

Are we willing to sacrifice our history, health and ecology for our lawns?

Sarah Ann Woodbury, Salt Lake City

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