The Salton Sea is steadily disappearing, and communities near it are literally being left in the dust. California’s largest body of water — located in Imperial County near the Mexico-U.S. border — has been sinking for years, and dust clouds containing heavy metals, agricultural chemicals and fine particulates connected to asthma and other diseases are harming young people in that area.
Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia watched with ill-disguised frustration as a hearing aimed at expediting state projects to restore habitat and control dust storms at the shrinking Salton Sea instead dissolved into discussion of why the efforts were falling further behind schedule. “We have a plan, we have money, there is additional money lined up, and we have a constituency — myself included — that is running out of patience,” Garcia (D-Coachella), chairman of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife, said.
Fearing an imminent public health threat, the director of the University of California, Irvine’s Salton Sea Initiative said the State Water Resources Control Board should step in and regulate the rate of water transferred from the Imperial Valley to coastal California as part of the Quantification Settlement Agreement.
The Clinton Foundation’s public workshop will feature speakers from environmental groups, public health advocates, state and local agencies. It is the Clinton Foundation’s second workshop devoted to the Salton Sea.
“The Army Corps of Engineers is budgeting $200,000 next year for work relating to the Salton Sea, a step that local officials say may clear the way for more federal government involvement in projects aimed at protecting habitats and keeping dust down as the lake recedes.”
From The Sacramento Bee, in Stephanie Taylor’s California Sketches series:
“The North Shore Beach Yacht Club opened in the early 1960s, attracting a glamorous crowd – Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis and the Beach Boys. An hour southeast of Palm Springs, California’s largest lake attracted thousands who came to fish, camp and boat.”
“It’s hard to be optimistic about the Salton Sea. After years of political rhetoric and study after study, we can’t think of a more frustrating issue in this region that has been debated so thoroughly with so little progress. The state’s $8.9 billion preferred plan issued in 2007 — and never enacted — landed with a giant thud that crippled creative solutions.”
“Plans to develop renewable energy as a way to fund restoration and conservation projects at the Salton Sea could be premature without at least a preliminary plan on what the restoration will look like, which in turn may depend on figuring out the funding sources for those efforts.”
“Progress toward an environmental solution at the declining Salton Sea may be unbearably slow for some observers. However, there have been some important achievements in the last year, said officials at the seventh annual Renewable Energy Summit at Quechan Casino Resort on Thursday.
“For instance, the Imperial Irrigation District and Imperial County set aside years of litigation and acrimony to jointly advance a restoration plan for the S
“Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Anne Castle has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Salton Sea Authority to improve collaboration between federal, tribal and local entities on natural resource issues involving the Salton Sea.
“The effort to restore the Salton Sea gained momentum in the nation’s capital Thursday, as California lawmakers and the Obama administration touted renewable energy as an environmental and economic lifeline.
“Sen. Barbara Boxer and two Southern California House members, Reps. Raul Ruiz and Juan Vargas, urged the U.S.