Environmental club screens documentary about Great Salt Lake

Weber State University’s Environmental Club showed a work-in-progress film Tuesday about the evaporating shorelines of the Great Salt Lake in the Wildcat Theater.

“The biggest issue that we face is that people are not aware that we could potentially lose the Great Salt Lake,” said Shirley Gorospe, director and executive producer of the documentary. “When I was a little girl, I was flying over the lake, and I saw large pink patches in the lake, and it wasn’t until I was older that I was told that these were evaporation ponds in the lake. This is what could happen to our entire lake, and after learning about this, I vowed that I would make a difference, so I created this documentary.”

The Utah Department of Natural Resources gave a permit to the Great Salt Lake Minerals Corporation to increase its industrial operations land around the Great Salt Lake. As a result of this, 91,000 acres of the Great Salt Lake’s habitats are at risk for being destroyed.

To help stop this from going through, 15 nonprofit organizations put together the Keep the Lake Great campaign.  The Utah Airboat Association is one of the organizations that supports in the protection of the Great Salt Lake. The UAA has taken on the responsibility to protect the marshes around the lake for future generations.

“We fight to keep it as natural as possible,” a representative of the Utah Airboat Association said.

Evaporating Shorelines, the title of the documentary, had interviews with many people throughout the state. Some of these interviews included government officials, scientists, lawyers and even residents that live in the Utah area.

In the documentary, scientists try and show the value of the lake to the surrounding areas, as well a showing many of the animals, birds and plants that would be affected by this disturbance yet are important in sustaining Utah’s ecosystem, according to the documentary.

“I was never aware that this was going on at the Great Salt Lake,” said Stacy Rabino, a WSU junior majoring in communication. “I could never imagine a Utah without the Great Salt Lake. We need to protect this lake and need to share with others about what is going on there. It is so much more than just a lake.”

According to the documentary, Evaporating Shorelines is not just a film to inform people about what is going on, but it is also a community of people that really care about the well being of the Great Salt Lake.

“We need to make a big difference in a short amount of time,” Gorospe said. “If we don’t try and make a difference, it will be too late.”

The best way in helping this cause is by writing a letter to Mike Styler, the executive director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources, Jason Gipson, project manager of the United State Army Corps of Engineers, or Governor Gary R. Herbert.

“This is our land and it belongs to the people of Utah,” Gorospe said.

Please direct any questions concerning the Great Salt Lake, the campaign or even finding ways to help to [email protected]