Leika Patch

Leika Patch is an environmental educator, filmmaker, and currently the production assistant for Caravan Lab in Seattle. She has previously worked as a stream ecologist, co-authoring research on nutrient pollution entering Utah Lake. As a graduate of Brigham Young University, she hopes to go forth and serve by bridging the gap between science and everyday life.

As the remnant of ancient Lake Bonneville, Utah Lake has seen thousands of generations come to its waters. It has sustained life for millennia.

I spent 2 years studying the Utah Lake watershed as a BYU student. In order to understand where nutrient pollution was coming from, we took samples from over a hundred sites, multiple times a year. With thousands of samples over several years, our research only provided one piece of the puzzle. There are people studying the geology, the fish, the birds, the plants, all the way down to the molecular level. It takes legions to understand just a fraction of the ecosystem.

It is folly to take one piece of the data, or one voice in the crowd as absolute truth. Our stewardship is not singular. We need to be listening to voices from diverse backgrounds, and coming together to find solutions. My goal for this video was to find those voices and amplify them; to create some common understanding.

What I found was that Utah Lake is on the road to recovery. After 50 years of dedicated research and restoration, we are seeing many signs of improvement. It is resilient. It has endured nutrient overloads, algal blooms, invasive species, and rapid population growth. Further progress depends on our ability to listen and learn together. Utah Lake restoration is ongoing, and needs your voice.