Members of the community met this week to form a mercury advisory group for the Great Salt Lake watershed region.
The group of local representatives from hunting, fishing and environmental groups, local businesses and communities, will help to share and gather information on lake pollution.
"Mercury contamination is a serious issue that needs to be studied at a local watershed level," said Jeff Salt, executive director of Great Salt Lakekeeper, a local conservation group. "Citizens, businesses and interests groups are really concerned about the mercury levels discovered in Great Salt Lake because of the potential threat they pose to the health of human and wildlife communities."
The group has been involved since a 2003 federal investigation found the Great Salt Lake contained relatively high levels of the toxic metal.
Though mercury pollution is very much a local problem, the causes can be regional or national, Salt said. This means that the source of the pollution can be hard to track down. One of the objectives of the forum is to locate the source of the metal.
"The Great Salt Lake Mercury Forum is a locally driven approach that supports gathering of objective, scientific mercury data," Salt said.
The group will meet regularly to coordinate and help in gathering scientific data and to inform the public of their findings.