September 30, 2016

Great Salt Lake drying up

CBS - On the southern shore of Utah’s Great Salt Lake, more than 100 boats are sitting high and dry in a parking lot, unable to sail the shallow, drought-stricken sea.

North of the nearly empty marina, salt-loving bacteria thriving in the low water has turned the liquid pink.

The massive lake, key to the state’s economy and identity, is skirting record low levels after years of below-average precipitation and record heat.

State officials said in July, that the lake is at its lowest level since the 1960s, before the causeway was in place, CBS affiliate KUTV reported. 

The lake, about 75 miles long and 30 miles wide, is America’s largest outside the Great Lakes. Water levels have always fluctuated, but they have been dropping steadily since 2011.

“If this continues ... the ecosystem as a whole is under a pretty significant threat,” said Jason Curry, a spokesman for Utah’s Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.

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