Crater Lake is the deepest lake in North America, reaching depths of more than 1,700 feet. Crater Lake National Park was founded in 1902 to preserve this natural wonder. Located in south Oregon, Crater Lake has sat for more than 7,000 years in the crater of Mount Mazama. The lake's pristine blue waters and the surrounding area form one of America's most recognized landmarks and one of its most famous national parks. However, as is the case with many of America's national parks, Crater Lake faces several environmental challenges.
Pollution is a greater threat to Crater Lake than to many other national parks, in that it presents a threat to the pristine lake itself. Crater Lake is not fed by rivers or a natural aquifer, as most lakes are. Much of the lake's water has been present for thousands of years, but it is constantly refreshed with rainwater. More pollution in the atmosphere means that more polluting substances and chemicals find their way into the lake via rain.
Many of America's national parks see an annual increase of use of 10 percent. This high rate of traffic by tourists from all over the world is beginning to show on the conditions of the parks, and Crater Lake is no exception. Effects of overuse include noise pollution, disruption of wildlife and destruction of shrubs and underbrush. The only solution to this issue, with population growth and park popularity expected to continue, is education of the public to leave less of an impact on the parks they visit.
Litter is traditionally the most visible and easily dealt with issue in national parks, but understaffing of parks means that it is harder for park employees to keep up with inevitable litter, especially in the face of increasing park use. Litter not only includes trash not placed in the proper receptacles but also abandoned or forgotten items and excessive garbage. Litter not only affects the natural environment but can be a threat to wildlife as well, affecting their diet and how they find food.
Article Written By Beau Prichard
Beau Prichard has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He specializes in fiction, travel and writing coaching. He has traveled in the United Kingdom, Europe, Mexico and Australia. Prichard grew up in New Zealand and holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing from George Fox University.