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Agriculture and the Environment

The State And Fate Of The Great Salt Lake, Part II

Elaine Clark

According to scientists who study it, the Great Salt Lake — the largest saltwater lake in the western hemisphere — is drying up.The lake has already reached the lowest water level in history, and its receding waters and growing shorelines could bring massive changes to its complex ecosystem.

When we spoke with her earlier this summer, microbiologist Bonnie Baxter said that by this fall we would have a strong sense of whether or not the Great Salt Lake ecosystem would collapse. She says what we’re witnessing on the lake right now is a grand experiment: How many stressors can it endure before it can’t take anymore? This Friday at 11 a.m., Baxter and her colleague Jaimi Butler join us to discuss the web of life that depends on the lake, and efforts to save it. We’ll also hear from an avid kayaker who recently completed a circumnavigation of the lake to document its wonders and its decline.

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