GREAT SALT LAKE

Using stormwater to create wetlands at the Great Salt Lake

Sep 14, 2022, 6:01 PM | Updated: Sep 15, 2022, 8:58 am

This article is published through the Great Salt Lake Collaborative, a solutions journalism initiative that partners news, education, and media organizations to help inform people about the plight of the Great Salt Lake—and what can be done to make a difference before it is too late. Read all of our stories at greatsaltlakenews.org

SALT LAKE CITY — The Nature Conservancy will soon be using stormwater to create new wetlands off the shores of the Great Salt Lake.

The project is under construction right now.  The end result will be similar to what you can see now at the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve.

The Conservancy is catching that dirty stormwater as it comes downstream and making it safe for wildlife.

“We have this area where we have the ability to do something,” Chris Brown said. He’s the director of stewardship for the Nature Conservancy District. “This project will actually impound about 40 to 50 acres of wetlands behind this levy that we’re standing on now.”

He said the Nature Conservancy is seizing an opportunity. “It’s a drain that drains the Freeport Center and some parts of Layton and Clearfield City.”

A water-control station will take in that dirty stormwater. Brown said, “Always full of garbage, has a lot of silt and debris in it.”

It will be filtered to create about 40 new wetlands.

“The water will come out of the main water control structure and go into a holding cell,” W. Chris Christiansen with Equinox Engineering said. That will allow the Conservancy to meter water use depending on how much it needs and how much falls from the sky.

“The things they’re doing and the projects they’re undertaking are not only good for the environment, but they’re good for the Great Salt Lake and things that promote better water management out there,” Christiansen said.

It’s a small patch when you consider the 80,000 acres at the Migratory Bird Refuge to the north, but it’s better than simply watching it all shrink.

“If they don’t do it, nobody else will,” Christiansen added.

With the declining shorelines and the hundreds of bird species that come here, we need all the help we can get.

“That’s the scary part is some of these populations are going to potentially collapse,” Brown said.

That whole project costs about $350,000 and could be completed by early November giving them the chance to start filling those wetlands next spring.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Great Salt Lake

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Glossy ibis fly over the Bear River Migratory Bird Ref...
Aimee Van Tatenhove, Utah Public Radio

Increasing Great Salt Lake salinity predicted to impact Utah brine shrimp

New research suggests that as Great Salt Lake shrinks and gets saltier, brine shrimp, a staple food for migrating birds and a boon to Utah’s economy, may be in danger of dramatic population declines.
2 months ago
CORINNE, UTAH - AUGUST 02: In an aerial view, an evaporation pond is pinkish-red due to high salini...
Carter Williams, KSL.com

Dust hot spots: Where is Great Salt Lake’s toxic dust most likely to originate?

Kevin Perry believes there are many "trigger points" that indicate when there is something wrong with the Great Salt Lake.
2 months ago
Bear River Massacre site. (KSL TV)...
Mike Anderson

Restoration of Idaho’s Bear River Massacre site may benefit Great Salt Lake

Current efforts to restore the site of the Bear River Massacre could benefit the whole Wasatch Front in a big way.
3 months ago
...
Dan Spindle

Biologist says Great Salt Lake’s ecosystem is near collapse

A biology professor said the Great Salt Lake’s ecosystem is dangerously close to collapsing, creating a risk for all of Utah.
3 months ago
(Great Salt Lake State Park & Marina )...
Cary Schwanitz

Great Salt Lake State Park and Marina closes boat ramp

As water levels at the Great Salk Lake continue to set record lows. the Great Salt Lake Park and Marina closed the boat ramp on Thursday.
3 months ago
FILE: An active Monsoon season will not have an impact on Utah's drought. (Pineview reservoir file ...
Saige Miller, KUER

Utah can’t save or stretch its precious water if it can’t super accurately measure it

As the Western megadrought stretches on, conservation, rate hikes or tearing out turf may not be enough.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Using stormwater to create wetlands at the Great Salt Lake