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Mono Lake
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Mono Lake

 

Credit: NASA
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wfm_mono_lake_landsat.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Not so long ago, cars all around California had bumper stickers proclaiming “Save Mono Lake.” And they did! Saving Mono Lake from losing too much water to Los Angeles is one of the great environmental success stories.

Why It Matters

Credit: Eeek
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mono-lake-tufa-1981-003.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Mono Lake Tufa columns [Figure2]

  • Mono Lake is a unique ecosystem: an inland saline lake.
  • Large numbers of California gulls and other shorebirds nest at the lake each spring.
  • The City of Los Angeles had permission to take divert clear water before it entered the lake to support its expanding population.

Show What You Know

With the link below, learn more about Mono Lake. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What did ecological studies of Mono Lake done in the mid-to-late-1970s find?
  2. What did the scientists say would happen if the water diversion continued at that or higher levels?
  3. Why did California revoke the right of Los Angeles to take water from Mono Lake? What happened next?
  4. What does Los Angeles now do without so much Mono Lake water?
  5. What do you think the message is from this story?

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