About Mono Lake
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About Mono Lake

Photo of Mono LakeNestled at the edge of the arid Great Basin and the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains in California, Mono Lake is an ancient saline lake that covers over 70 square miles and supports a unique and productive ecosystem. The lake has no fish; instead it is home to trillions of brine shrimp and alkali flies. Freshwater streams feed Mono Lake, supporting lush riparian forests of cottonwood and willow along their banks. Along the lakeshore, scenic limestone formations known as tufa towers rise from the water's surface. Millions of migratory birds visit the lake each year.

From 1941 until 1990, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) diverted excessive amounts of water from Mono Basin streams. Mono Lake dropped 45 vertical feet, lost half its volume, and doubled in salinity.

The Mono Lake Committee, founded in 1978, led the fight to save the lake with cooperative solutions. We continue our protection, restoration, and education efforts today with the support of 16,000 members --and we host this Website.

Photo of Mono Lake by Inge WeidmannIn 1994, after over a decade of litigation, the California State Water Resources Control Board ordered DWP to allow Mono Lake to rise to a healthy level of 6,392 feet above sea level--twenty feet above its historic low. It is rising toward that goal -- click here for the current lake level, or visit one of the other links on this page for more of the Mono Lake story.





As Rush Creek and I rambled to Mono Lake, I was struck with how quickly Mother Nature, given the chance, heals the wounds we inflict upon her.... If nature can heal an injured land, it can heal our blighted souls as well. That's why saving Mono Lake is a matter of saving, and healing, ourselves.

-David Gaines
co-founder, Mono Lake Committee