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True Nature Filter

#craterlake

crater lake

Pristine. Untouched. Magnificent. Ancient. Vivid. Crystalline. These are words conjured up by views of the iconic natural wonder that is Crater Lake. But try these ones out, as well: Nitrogen. Sulfur. Mercury. Toxicity. Haze. Imbalance. Disruption. It turns out Crater Lake is not immune to destructive human activities. Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park is home to a number of fragile ecosystems and encompasses much more than just the lake itself. Bogs, springs, meadows, forests, and mountains all exist within the region, and they harbor plants, animals, soil, and water that are easily damaged by the pollution rising from human activities in the valleys below. The nitrogen and sulfur particles released from burning fossil fuels can contribute to acidification of streams around Crater Lake. Critters such as aquatic insects, fish, and amphibians are very sensitive to these changes in water chemistry, and they can die. Another aspect of this incredible natural area that is under threat is the quintessential blueness of the lake. Nitrogen, when deposited into soil and waterways in high amounts, can cause an overgrowth of plant life (think: weeds, scum, and algae) that could sully the treasured clean, blue color of the deepest lake in the United States. To learn more about the national park and the air pollution that threatens its ecosystems, click here: https://www.nature.nps.gov/air/Permits/aris/crla/impacts.cfm . There’s also information about a water monitoring program that has been in effect since 1983: https://home.nps.gov/crla/learn/nature/monitoringcraterlake.htm

Lucia Hadella