March 21, 2024

Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement Trust 5 Year Strategy

Click to access: Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement Trust 5 Year Strategy

On behalf of the Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement Trust, its co-managers, National Audubon Society (NAS)and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the Trust’s Advisory Council, it is with great pleasure that we share this plan to guide the Trust’s operations and goals for the next five years. The Trust has just finished its first year of operation and we look forward to working collaboratively with many others to help preserve the irreplaceable wetlands and waters of Great Salt Lake through partnerships and innovative water projects that benefit people and wildlife.Through 2023, our first year of operation, the Trust made important progress toward achieving its mission. TheTrust co-managers have facilitated, or provided funding, for water transactions of up to 64,000 acre-feet on a diversion basis for Great Salt Lake and are starting 2024 with a baseline of approximately 54,000 acre-feet. TheTrust also awarded more than $8.5 million in funding over the next two years to eight projects led by partners to protect and restore more than 13,000 acres of wetlands and habitat surrounding the lake and benefitting the hydrology of Great Salt Lake.As we look to 2024 and beyond, this Five-Year Strategy lays out the Trust’s vision and goals for the next five years and outlines our path to achieve them. By 2028, building upon the current baseline, we aim to protect existing or secure additional flows of 100,000 acre-feet of water per year for Great Salt Lake, support protection and restoration of at least 20,000 acres of wetlands around the lake, identify and improve at least five key water distribution bottlenecks, and significantly leverage the expended state grant money. This plan draws upon the scientific expertise and watershed management experience of both NAS and TNC as well as our deep network of partners. We are grateful to our nine-member Trust Advisory Council for providing wide-ranging expertise and perspectives as they advise the Trust and help us work toward achieving our goals. Our gratitude also extends to the other state leaders and partners who have worked with us including policy makers, the newly appointed Great Salt Lake Commissioner, state and local agencies, and the other organizations whose interest and work also is essential to preserving Great Salt Lake and its wetlands.The Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement Trust is only one of the many solutions needed to address the challenges facing Great Salt Lake and its wetlands. We look forward to working alongside many others to secure Great Salt Lake’s future as a thriving ecosystem that sustains people and wildlife for generations to come.

Thank you,

Marcelle Shoop

Executive Director, Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement Trust

Program Director, Saline Lakes Program, National Audubon Society