There have been rumors that large quantities of dead birds have washed up at the shores of the shrinking Great Salt Lake so today I ventured out with my dog, Ernie. But what I saw was something unlike I've ever seen.
After walking the approx. 2 miles from the parking lot of the Saltair to the waters edge, are more dead birds than I could've imagined. Within a 20ft radius lied roughly 50 Grebes, their delicate bodies contorted, their eyes peacefully closed or devoured by maggots. And whats worse is they peppered the waters edge as far as the eye could see.
"IT'S AN EXPECTED OCCURRANCE"
Articles I found said this is expected; each year millions of birds fly to the Great Salt Lake as a pit stop on their journey to feed, and recoup, and unfortunately some don't survive. By some estimations those numbers can sit in the tens of thousands, so it's all just a circle of life kind of thing. But as the Great Salt Lake dries up and their food source disappears, I can't help but feel like this problem is going to get much, much worse.
In Utah, our elected officials are pushing off lake saving measures in place of economic growth, taking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the real estate industry each year. Even worse Utahs elected officials plan to sue the Environmental Protection Agency over the new rules regarding ozone emissions - Utahs tax payer dollars are being used to make the air quality worse.
On the walk back it was all I could do to keep it together. When I finally looked up there were these colors falling on the Oquirrh Mountains.
A swan song for the dead.