The Salton Sea has gotten a bad rap over the years, most of it unwarranted. But that framing is too simplistic, new research suggests, arguing that the sea's formation was inevitable, regardless of the famous canal breach in 1905. “At its peak, the Salton Sea hosted a broad diversity of birds, and any habitat restoration that takes place here should serve that diversity.” According to the report, the most pronounced desertion has involved the American White Pelican, whose numbers reached about … In an attempt to turn the desert into lush farmland more than a century ago, humans tried — and temporarily but dramatically failed  — to exert control over nature.  California’s Salton Sea is a fertile oasis in the hostile desert of southeastern California, adopted by millions of birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway. he asked. The state promised Salton Sea restoration back in 2003," he said. The names on this petition will be presented to the Board Members Of The Salton Sea Authority at the September 19th meeting and is a request for the Salton Se The lake dropped more than a foot last year, and is growing ever saltier as it dwindles in size. A meeting on the proposal is set for 11 a.m. on Oct. 15 at the yacht club, 9115 Sea View Drive in Mecca. Janet Wilson is senior environment reporter for The Desert Sun and writes the USA TODAY Climate Point newsletter. Editorial: The Salton Sea is a disaster in the making. This agreement decreased agricultural runoff into the sea, worsening the current situation. In November 2019, an emergency was declared because of the "heavily polluted New River, which empties into the Salton Sea". The Salton Sea was created when a canal gate broke in 1905, allowing Colorado River water into the basin. McNeece said that reframing the sea's origin story away from it being an accident is important because "the transfers that we have today from the Imperial Irrigation District out began with the notion that the IID was wasting water sending it to the Salton Sea.”. “If the government doesn’t do anything about it and all the dust comes into our crops and kills them, well then, we have a pretty good case,” said Juan DeLara, risk manager for Federated Mutual Insurance, which leases 1,000 acres of farmland on the north end of the sea to a grower. IID refused to approve the 2019 Drought Contingency Plan for the Lower Colorado River Basin without assurances related to restoration of the Salton Sea.9 Although the Wilcox said Dessert should know that the high water mark at the sea needed to be legally re-set before dust suppression furrowing could resume. This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Well-known Salton Sea origin story questioned by new research, suggesting it wasn't 'accidental', Like us on Facebook to see similar stories, FBI investigating explosion, graffiti at church known for anti-LGBT views, Madison Cawthorn: Republican representative accepts Biden as President. The program will monitor elements such as biological resources, hydrology, water quality and The Salton Sea is far below sea level and a canal from the Gulf could quickly fill it to any desired level while freshening it and possibly generating hydroelectric power … But Salton Sea restoration threatens to undermine nature’s effort to reclaim the basin by once again smothering this new life in toxic waste for another generation. Since 2003, there has been $653 million in federal, state and local funds authorized for Salton Sea mitigation and restoration projects. DeLara is also head of the Salton Sea Action Committee and would-be developer of a 4,900 acre housing, commercial and recreational project at the sea's north end. It's one of the larger pieces of a stalled ten year pilot Salton Sea Management Plan to address increasing public health concerns and massive wildlife losses at California's largest inland water body. Biologist Chris Schoneman of the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge points out the layers of sand above the clay at the Red Hill Bay restoration project site on Sept. 12, 2018. But he said he completely understands the despair of ordinary people. Last … Chris Schoneman of the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge examines the water near the Red Hill Bay restoration project site on Sept. 12, 2018. Being born from an engineering miscalculation on the part of the California Development Company means the Salton Sea has been written off as an "accident" in histories inked on many pages, ranging from The Washington Post to the Daily Mail. Salt encrusted Red Hill Bay near the Imperial valley's Salton Sea on Feb. 25, 2019. The Salton Sea in California (CN) – A major Southern California water purveyor paved the way Tuesday for a massive restoration project at the Salton Sea in an attempt to stave off ecological devastation and an unfolding public health disaster. "I feel a lot more optimistic now that we finally got this step done, which has been bedeviling us for some time," said Bruce Wilcox, Assistant Secretary of Natural Resources overseeing Salton Sea efforts. Supervisor Manuel Perez has proposed an Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District to generate funding, by tax increment, for sea restoration, mainly on the Riverside County side of the water body, most of which is in Imperial County. This petition is designed to represent all the people that support the Desert Shores Restoration Project and Restoration in general at the Salton Sea that are not able to attend the Salton Sea Authority Board Meeting on September 19th, 2019. California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot agreed. That's now been done, and Wilcox said he expects IID will resume work on hundreds of acres soon. 2019 Annual Report on the Salton Sea Management Program Prepared for the State Water Resources Control Board (Order WR 2017-0134) March 2019 . Well-known Salton Sea origin story questioned by new research, suggesting it wasn't 'accidental', Best & Worst Refinance Mortgage Companies of 2021, Seniors Are Getting These Unsold 2020 SUVs For Dirt Cheap, A slam dunk if you need a balance transfer, © Jay Calderon and Richard Lui/The Desert Sun, © Jay Calderon and Omar Ornelas/The Desert Sun. 82995 Hwy 111, Suite 200, Indio, CA 92201 IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. (KYMA, KECY), Restoration projects are finally coming to the Salton Sea and New River. Frustrations by local officials and residents have mounted along with the lack of progress on projects. Instead, runoff from irrigated farm fields kept water flowing into the sea. Website +1 760-393-3052. It's been a long time coming. He noted a community committee he was appointed to had met just once, and said it had accomplished nothing. Farmers along the edge of the 350 square mile sea — twice as large as Lake Tahoe — have sued before and say they could sue again if state work harms their crops, or, conversely, if nothing is done to stop increasing air quality problems. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and IID are the two largest landowners around and in the sea, which was created in the early 20th century after a canal broke and sent Colorado River floodwaters rushing into an ancient, dry lakebed. A butterfly at the Salton Sea, March 27, 2019. The pieces are all in place for real action at the Salton Sea. I'm sure it is less enjoyable when the temperature are over 100. February 12, 2019 Salton Sea Management and Restoration Efforts The Salton Sea in Southern California is the state’s largest inland body of water. California isn't doing anything to stop it. Overview; Projects; Expanded Course Description: This 5121L studio explores the nexus of land art, pattern generation, ecological restoration, dust mitigation, water policy, and social justice while choreographing the sublime on the corpse of the Salton Sea … (Credit: David McNew / Getty Images for Lumix) Outbreaks like this occur during the winter in California and may result in the deaths of thousands of birds when they congregate at key water sources during migration, and the weather is cold and damp. "Today’s action by the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors marks an important step forward," he said. Land use agreements have been signed. Associated with the summit will be several optional field trips to the Salton Sea on October 16. "You haven't gotten it delivered, you haven't. Migratory bird populations disappeared this winter and large dust storms are picking up in intensity. The origin of California's largest lake is a well-known tale. “The Salton Sea is a very important stopover for millions of birds on the Pacific Flyway and after 10 years of planning we’re finally breaking ground on this major habitat restoration … A turkey vulture at the Salton Sea, seen near the Red Hill Bay restoration project site on Sept. 12, 2018. He has studied the Salton Sea and associated policies since the early 2000s, and he advocates for short-term solutions such as field fallowing to redirect conserved water from farmers to the sea. "That could be the state, that could be the federal government, or it could be a private landowner," he said. Salton Sea restoration. But it’s also agricultural runoff, mixed with naturally salty Colorado River irrigation water, that is keeping the sea afloat, so to speak. The regularly scheduled meeting of the Salton Sea Authority (“Authority” or “SSA”) Board of Directors (“Board”) was called to order by Chairman Estrada, President, at 10:07 a.m., October 24, 2019, at the Imperial Irrigation District, Bill Condit Auditorium, 1285 Salt encrusted Red Hill Bay near the Imperial valley's Salton Sea on Feb. 25, 2019. The piece of history that's truly unusual, she said, is how much the Colorado River has been hemmed in by dams and levees ever since. Tuesday's agreement clears a particularly thorny issue that stopped the larger wetlands projects in their tracks: Who's responsible if something goes wrong? 2019 EEO Report; Public File Help ... from an environmental improvement fund to support efforts to restore the dying Salton Sea. The threat of lawsuits is not an idle one. Nellie McConnell and her late husband built a house on the Salton Sea to enjoy their boat. The Salton Sea is California’s largest inland lake, located in Riverside and Imperial Counties. “I’m very happy,” said IID general manager Henry Martinez, who worked closely with top resources officials to hammer out the agreement. The Salton Sea shoreline slowly recedes away from the small community of Bombay Beach near Highway 86 on the sea's eastern shore in this aerial photograph, October 19, 2019. More than $350 million is available for Salton Sea projects, approved by California voters. Warning signs along an inlet warn people stay away from algae if it's visible in the water at the Salton Sea. … The Salton Sea Authority is a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) empowered to revitalize the Salton Sea in consultation and cooperation with state and federal governments. Revitalization News 35, September 15. Show full articles without "Continue Reading" button for {0} hours. "The species habitat conservation plan is permitted and ready to go.". The sea — a lake, actually — was created by accident in 1905 when flooding from the Colorado River into irrigation canals eventually led a 40-mile stretch of desert known as the Salton Sink to fill with water, thus creating the lake. This recent photograph of the Salton Sea depicts a section of the southern shore with geothermal plants visible in the distance. White pelicans, which used to mass here by the tens of thousands during winter months, fly over the Salton Sea near Calipatria on Jan. 1, 2019. Natural wetlands cover portions of the Salton Sea's eastern shoreline just south of Bombay Beach in this aerial photograph, October 19, 2019. It's unclear on what specific legal grounds farmers could sue. The next steps for the plan include finalizing the easement documents and seeking bids. Obsidian Butte sits on the Salton Sea's southern shoreline in near geothermal energy plants in this aerial photograph, October 19, 2019.  California’s Salton Sea is a fertile oasis in the hostile desert of southeastern California, adopted by millions of birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway. CA. WESTMORLAND — The California Salton Sea Management Program began construction this week on a nearly 4,000-acre project to restore bird and fish habitat and improve conditions for local communities near the southern tip of the Salton Sea. Work goes on at the Red Hill Bay restoration project at the Salton Sea on Sept. 12, 2018. White pelicans, which used to mass here by the tens of thousands during winter months, fly over the Salton Sea near Calipatria on Jan. 1, 2019. But Salton Sea restoration threatens to undermine nature’s effort to reclaim the basin by once again smothering this new life in toxic … California, water. Above: Waterfowl rest in the placid waters of the Salton Sea on Feb. 25, 2019. Contact. 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