For any readers who are not familiar with this region of California:
- A Short History of the Salton Sea at the Audubon Society
- History of the Salton Sea at the Salton Sea Museum
- Lost America: The Salton Sea
- The Desert Sun
Why must it be saved?
- The Salton Sea became a permanent lake after 1905, but a lake did exist at times in the area before humans began to control the flow of the Colorado River.
- Because of the reduction of wetlands due to housing development, the Salton Sea is a key stopover for bird migration along the Pacific Flyway.
- In 2018, an agreement between the Imperial Irrigation District and the U.S. Department of the Interior to send water into the Salton Sea will end. This will accelerate the decline of the Salton Sea. If the sea is allowed to dry up, 100 years buildup of dust on the lakebed will be exposed to the wind and cause toxic dust storms that will impact the health of everyone who lives in the region, as far away as Los Angeles. These dust storms would also affect the agricultural areas of Coachella and Imperial Valleys.
What is being done?
- An Australian power company has plans to build a 250-megawatt geothermal power plant along the sea’s southern shore. Geothermal development at the Salton Sea could generate funds toward restoring the sea, as well as aiding California in reaching a 5o percent clean energy mandate. There are currently 11 geothermal power plants along the southern shore, generating 400 megawatts of electricity.
- On March 24, 2016, a public boat launch opened at the Salton Sea’s North Shore. This will hopefully bring more recreational boating and fishing to the Salton Sea.
- Will water from Mexico save the sea? This plan would bring water from the Sea of Cortez via the Laguna Salada and 40 miles of pipeline.
- In February 2016, the Long Range Planning Committee held a series of meetings to propose ways to save the Salton Sea.
- In January 2016, Governor Brown proposed that $80 million be set aside to aid the Salton Sea.
Where to learn more:
- The Desert Sun is a great resource for finding out the latest news about the Salton Sea.
- Salton Sea Sense – a blog about the Salton Sea and its ecological, environmental, and cultural importance
- Salton Sea History Museum and Visitor Center
- Salton Sea State Recreation Area
- Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Complex – established on the southern shore in 1930
- Salton Sea Rescue – Refilling the Cahuilla Sea – the possibility of using a series of canals and bio-filtration from the Sea of Cortez to fill the Salton Sea
- Bureau of Reclamation – Salton Sea – another resource for keeping up to date on the Salton Sea