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Lake Effect: what Great Salt Lake means to Gov. Spencer Cox

Gov. Spencer Cox, wearing a suit, stands in the Capitol Building. He is smiling.
Utah State Office of the Governor

Hello, I'm Governor Spencer Cox.

The Great Salt Lake is truly one of nature's wonders and a vital resource to our state. From an economic standpoint, Great Salt Lake contributes more than $1.3 billion to Utah's economy every year, primarily from brine shrimp harvesting and mineral extraction.

From a recreation and tourism standpoint, the lake is a natural playground for boaters, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts. As a wildlife ecosystem, 10 million birds rely on the lake's wetlands to feed, rest and breed along their migratory paths.

And as a symbol, the Great Salt Lake helps define who we are as Utahns. It's endlessly fascinating, sometimes buggy and smelly, but an ever beautiful feature of this unique place that we call home. The lake ties us to our past as the remnant of the prehistoric Lake Bonneville, and it's key to the state's water future.

I'm so grateful the legislature shares my concern for the Great Salt Lake and is joining me to develop solutions that will make a real difference in the lake's short and long term health. The Great Salt Lake is an asset that we all must treasure and we must preserve.

Ellis Juhlin is a science reporter here at Utah Public Radio and a Master's Student at Utah State. She studies Ferruginous Hawk nestlings and the factors that influence their health. She loves our natural world and being part of wildlife research. Now, getting to communicate that kind of research to the UPR listeners through this position makes her love what she does even more. In her free time, you can find her outside on a trail with her partner Matt and her goofy pups Dodger and Finley. They love living in a place where there are year-round adventures to be had!
Aimee Van Tatenhove is a science reporter at UPR. She spends most of her time interviewing people doing interesting research in Utah and writing stories about wildlife, new technologies and local happenings. She is also a PhD student at Utah State University, studying white pelicans in the Great Salt Lake, so she thinks about birds a lot! She also loves fishing, skiing, baking, and gardening when she has a little free time.