The Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve is a unique system of salt and fresh water marshes, ponds, pools, sloughs and mudflats. It is a rich feeding ground for tens of thousands of migrating birds, which use the Great Salt Lake as a resting point on their journeys from Canada to points in Central and South America. In fact, some of the largest gatherings of wildlife ever recorded on the Great Salt Lake have been observed here.
The innovative visitor center at the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve offers you the chance to experience and learn about the wetlands and its birds while keeping your feet dry!
The preserve is along the eastern shore of the Great Salt Lake between Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area and the Antelope Island State Park Causeway.
Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
The Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve (formerly called the Layton Wetlands Preserve) was The Nature Conservancy's first preserve in Utah. The wetlands of the Great Salt Lake provide important nesting and foraging habitat for over 250 species of birds. The lake is a critical link in the Pacific Flyway between North and South America. In fact, so many birds (between four and six million!) visit, feed and nest at the lake and its wetlands annually, it has been named as one of only seventeen sites of Hemispheric Importance in the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network, an internationally important designation.
As part of The Nature Conservancy’s strategies to reduce its footprint, we’ve initiated a solar program that aims to offset 100 percent of the energy use at our six main facilities, including the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve. Through a grant generously provided by the John B. and Geraldine W. Goddard Family Foundation, we’ve installed roof-mounted solar panels and ground-mount arrays at the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve Visitor Center.
By making our operations greener and cleaner, we can help mitigate the effects of climate change both here at home and around the world.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The Nature Conservancy has worked for more than 20 years to protect the Great Salt Lake and its wetlands. Conservation strategies implemented by the Conservancy range from land acquisition and community outreach and planning to partnerships with government agencies, public committees, and private conservation groups. The Conservancy’s Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve protects over 4,400 acres--almost 11 miles--of critical wetland and upland habitat along the Lake’s eastern shore. Another key initiative is the Conservancy’s work with Davis County communities and Envision Utah to help implement innovative strategies to promote balanced growth while preserving wildlife habitat and open space.
In a new effort to ensure the long-term health of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem, the Conservancy is now working with various partners to support the effort to create numeric water quality standards for the Lake.
The Conservancy is thrilled that the visitor center offers easy access to the preserve, serving as a hub for our education and outreach programs, which include naturalist-guided tours for school groups and the public during birdwatching seasons. To learn more, contact our office at (801) 531-0999.