All people have the right to live in an environment that has a healthy ecosystem and does not put them at risk for harm. Right now Tainter Lake and Lake Menomin are not in a state of health and the people of Menomonie suffer as a result. Dogs have died or gotten ill from drinking the lake water, children cannot enjoy hot summer days swimming and the smell drives boaters out of the county looking for cleaner lakes. These people are not able to use the environment around them in ways that they want to and this is not fair.
I like to think that my research will help the people of Menomonie find solutions to the cyanobacteria problem that plagues the water in late summer. The data that I collect will be used in policy creation. It is this thought that keeps me focused when in the field and lab. However, to make great change in the watersheds water quality the people within the watershed will have to be motivated to help. Getting people from all parts of the watershed to understand that their way of life affects the way of life of those all around the watershed is a challenging part of this project. When people realize the power that they hold and use it to change their practices to help others live a better life, that is when the greatest change to water quality will occur. Without this realization, adoption of new policy, and continued research there will not be an improvement in water quality and the people of Menomonie will face injustice.