By Margaret Liendo and Erika Pimentel
Okay, so we’re just going to list a couple things and you have to guess what they all have in common: Kool-aid mix, Ramen noodles (chicken flavored of course) and tea.
Anything come to mind? Well, instead of making you hungry, we hope that you thought of water. Water is a natural resource that is not that hard to come by, especially since we live on an island and are surrounded by water. Water helps us to cook, clean and most importantly, hydrate our bodies. Water has so many uses, but do we really know where all the water on Long Island comes from?
It’s a fact that a majority of Long Island’s fresh water comes from a place referred to as an aquifer. An aquifer is essentially an underground well of fresh water. Many water towers are built in numerous communities to gain access to it so that it may be distributed throughout the town. The question, however, is “Now, how come we never run out of that good ol’fresh water?” Well the answer to that question is simply lakes!
Yes, lakes enable the aquifers to be replenished over time. As soon as it rains the fresh rain water that lands in a lake is able to filter through the sediments and helps replenish the aquifer. However, the problem today is that the lakes are dying, a process known as eutrophication. Although eutrophication occurs in nature, it is sped up and worsened by human activity, a process known as cultural eutrophication.
A natural process that usually takes thousands of years to finalize is being sped up at alarming rates by our own actions.
Lake death is no laughing matter. Signs of a dying lake is abundant vegetation, lake islands and debris that form sediments that cause a lake to become shallow. All these things are occurring in our own backyards and endangering our fresh water supply. An example can be seen in the town of Patchogue at the Patchogue Lake. There is evidence that shows that the lake is rapidly shrinking and soon might become another open field. Evidence shows that there are contaminants within the water, and a large amount of debris built up blocking the west and east inlet of the lake. Something needs to be done!
Currently the Biology Club, along with Dr, Rana, have held lake clean up events to improve and eventually clear out the west inlet, which is being clogged by debris and plant growth each day. If we could simply take some time out of our day to clean the lake at this event or think about what our trash can do to our environment, then maybe we will think twice before doing something harmful to our environment. By raising awareness of this issue we can make the greener choice to support a healthier lake. A lake that would last longer and benefit all on the island by retaining the gift of fresh water!