I still get a lot of questions about why we are fund raising to plant Tul so I figured I’d take a minute to try to paint a clear picture.
Fact: Eutrophication of Lake Atitlán continues although it can not be seen on the surface. Thus causing most people to dismiss it as not urgent…..
The single biggest hurdle that we have to get past is stopping sewage from flowing into the lake. There is only 5-7 years to slow down or stop the eutrophication process before it is irreversible. That is a “point of no return” because it is a whole lot easier to stop a lake from going eutrophic then it is to recover a lake that has gone eutrophic. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” as the old saying goes……..sooooo……
Prevention is exactly why we are raising funds for Tul planting. We can’t just go to the wastewater treatment plants and make them pump the sewage somewhere else. All we can do now is buy time (and hopefully enough time) so that the lake can process the nutrients flowing into it and slow down the eutrophication process. If the lake can process the nutrient inflow then we won’t see algal blooms. Tourism and Population growth both continue to increase though so without countermeasures there isn’t much hope. So thus we continue to due what we can to try to hold off the disaster while waiting for the local muni’s to get their acts together and figure out how to quit putting the sewage in the lake.
So that’s why we need everyone’s support, especially from people with vested interests around the lake because if we can’t buy enough time then property owners (land, hotels, restaurants, etc.) had better start selling their investments off now because they won’t be worth anything later. Whether it’s our efforts or someone else’s (not a lot of other choices unfortunately), people need to be doing what they can now and supporting some type of efforts while we still can. At this point, there is still hope.