A proposal to “protect” wetlands from the Inland Port
The Utah Inland Port Authority recently announced a proposal to allocate funding and land for wetland preservation around the Great Salt Lake. The proposal is an oxymoron, considering the vast environmental concerns associated with the inland port projects. Multiple of the port’s intended locations are on or extremely close to wetlands, including those of Great Salt Lake.
The only way to preserve wetlands is to shelter them from development.
The track record of the port authority in terms of its approach to development and environmental protection has been to act and spend taxpayer money without a comprehensive plan in place. Developing wetlands and subsequently trying to repair the damage, if it can even be repaired, is a risky approach that could lead to irreversible ecological harm.
The decision to focus on wetland preservation is particularly sensitive given the fragile ecosystem of the Great Salt Lake and the surrounding wetlands. The lake’s record low levels and ecological crises have already underscored the need for careful and considerate planning. There is a clear need for a well-thought-out plan that not only protects these wetlands but also accounts for potential repercussions on air quality, wildlife habitats, public health, and the broader ecosystem.
It is crucial that the Utah Inland Port Authority engages in transparent decision-making, comprehensive impact assessments, and a robust plan for sustainable development and ecological conservation. In this context, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall’s proposal for a buffer area between the inland port and the Great Salt Lake is a step in the right direction, but it must be supported by concrete actions and detailed planning to ensure long-term environmental benefits and protection.
If the Inland Port is truly concerned about protecting wetlands, they should drop their proposed projects on wetlands.