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Gov. Cox proposes $45 million to protect Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox is proposing to spend $45 million to help preserve and protect the Great Salt Lake.

The $45 million comes from the American Rescue Plan Act. It’s added to $5 million allocated in May for a total of $50 million. The governor also wants to allocate $600,000 to update the Great Salt Lake comprehensive resource management plan.

The lake reached historic lows in the summer of 2021. Advocates say a dried up lake, or even a smaller lake, could create ecological and economic catastrophes, including worsening air quality.

Policy advocate for the Utah Audubon Council Steve Erickson has done advocacy work for the Great Salt Lake for years. He’s cautiously optimistic about the governor’s proposal, saying it is “certainly heading in the right direction.” Erickson says the next task is to get the legislature to act.

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