SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Students at Emerson Elementary School in Salt Lake City have made a difference this year as a bill led by the school’s 6th-grade class (H.B. 137) just passed the Senate floor in the 2023 Utah State Legislature, officially making brine shrimp Utah’s state crustacean.

The bill itself was spurred by a petition the class created to raise awareness for our local populations of brine shrimp in the Great Salt Lake — which could disappear within years due to lowering water levels and increased salt saturation.

The bill was first introduced to the House last year but ran out of time before it could pass.

Their efforts this time around, including a presentation by some of Mr. Craner’s 6th-graders, haven’t been in vain as H.B. 137 is now scheduled to be signed by Governor Spencer Cox.

Students and supporters of the bill hope that acknowledging the brine shrimp as our crustacean will further efforts to save the shrimp and their habitat. 

“I’m so proud of them, I’m so proud of how confident they were, what they were able to represent, how they were able to represent us, our school, our district, and they carried themselves with a lot of integrity and professionalism,” says Craner.