Environment & Ecology

A drying Great Salt Lake could mean increased dust, less snow, reduced lake access, elevated salinity, habitat loss, island bridges, more invasive plant growth and negative economic consequences to the state. Visit the links below to learn more about how the water, air and wildlife in and around the lake are being impacted.

Great Salt Lake Shoreline historical fluctuation


USGS Great Salt Lake Hydrology

Hydrology & Levels

The U.S. Geological Survey monitors lake levels, salinity and groundwater data. Check out their interactive site that provides real-time data and information related to the lake and its watershed.

USGS Great Salt Lake Salinity


For the unique Great Salt Lake ecosystem to thrive, salinity of the south arm should fall between 120 and 160 grams per liter (g/L). Ecosystems are impaired when salinity rises higher. In fall 2022, salinity reached 185 g/L.

Utah Division of Water Quality

Water Quality


Utah Division of Air Quality

Division of Air Quality

The Division of Air Quality safeguards and improves Utah’s air, land and water through balanced regulation.

Great Salt Lake Ozone Study

Ozone Study

The Great Salt Lake is an important factor in forming and distributing ozone pollution.

Dust Squared Critical Zone Study

Dust^2 Studies


Birds at Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program


The Great Salt Lake is an avian oasis where 10 million migratory birds visit annually to rest, refuel and breed.

Bison at Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program


The Division of State Parks manages between 550 and 700 free-roaming bison on Antelope Island State Park.

Microbialites at Utah Geological Survey


Brine shrimp at Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program

Brine Shrimp

Brine shrimp are crustaceans that inhabit saline waters around the world and are a valuable food source to migratory birds that congregate in and around the Great Salt Lake. Without this food source, the birds’ long migrations wouldn’t be possible.



The extensive marshes, mudflats and meadows surrounding the Great Salt Lake make up the highest concentration of vegetated wetlands in Utah and provide crucial stopover, wintering and nesting habitat for millions of shorebirds and waterfowl.