Jeffrey Charles Salt, who directs the Great Salt Lakekeeper, made an initial appearance in 3rd District Court Wednesday on charges that he roughed up his former girlfriend.

Salt, 48, is charged with third-degree felony aggravated assault and unlawful detention, a class B misdemeanor. As of Wednesday afternoon, he was listed as an inmate at the Salt Lake County Jail with bail set at $15,000.

His next court date is a July 17 roll call before 3rd District Judge Joseph Fratto.

Salt has been an advocate for the Great Salt Lake and pushed to do such things as protect area rivers and inform the public about mercury levels in Utah's watershed.

Scott Edwards, legal director of Waterkeeper Alliance, which is the umbrella organization of Great Salt Lakekeeper, said the organization regards this situation as a personal matter.

"Our member programs do have standards they have to meet — but those standards go to environmental advocacy. Typically, something like this would not affect his standing in our organization," Edwards said. "It sounds like it is a personal issue for Jeff Salt, and he will have to work it out."

Edwards praised Salt's professional work: "He has been a great advocate for the Great Salt Lake for years and a vocal opponent of polluters."