SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Hollywood icon Leonardo DiCaprio urged his fans to sign a petition asking Utah’s political leaders to protect and restore the Great Salt Lake.
In an Instagram post on Monday, DiCaprio posted a photo of a receding Great Salt Lake shoreline, sharing with his over 61 million followers the dangers a disappearing lake poses.
“The Great Salt Lake supports more than 10 million migrating birds that are in jeopardy of a massive die-off, along with brine shrimp and other wildlife that depends on the lake,” wrote DiCaprio. “Even more, as the lakebed dries, it turns into a toxic dust that could potentially poison the millions of people who live along the Wasatch Front if nothing is done.”
DiCaprio shared his support for the group of conservation organizations that filed a lawsuit against the State of Utah over alleged “failures” to protect the lake. The lawsuit claims Utah’s diversion of water upstream is preventing necessary water from reaching the lake, depleting water levels.
The lake itself reached a historic low in November 2022. After an intense winter and the following spring runoff, the Great Salt Lake rose about five and a half feet. However, experts still have concerns saying one good winter is not enough to save the Great Salt Lake.
The award-winning actor pushed his followers to a petition by the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club, a non-profit environmental organization, is one of the included in the lawsuit against the State of Utah, alongside Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, the American Bird Conservancy, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Utah Rivers Council.
The petition asks the public to join the fight to protect the Great Salt Lake. Signing the petition will help urge Utah politicians to take action and inform signees on legal updates regarding the lake as well as events and opportunities for “local mobilizations.”
In his Instagram post, DiCaprio quoted Utah Rivers Council Executive Director Zach Frankel, who said, “Every Utahn should be very worried about Utah’s failure to restore the Great Salt Lake. We have the tools available to us to raise the Great Salt Lake’s water levels. But we’re failing to hold our elected and appointed officials accountable for even establishing so much as a goal to raise the lake.”
DiCaprio, whose Instagram bio reads “Actor and Environmentalist,” often uses his Instagram account to spread awareness for environmental causes. Days prior to his call to save the Great Salt Lake, DiCaprio shared an update on the protection of seahorses. Another post calls for the protection of the Colorado River Basin.
DiCaprio’s Instagram post on the Great Salt Lake had received over 94,000 likes as of Wednesday morning.