Salton Sea, California

 

The Salton Sea was created back in 1905 when the Colorado River breached an irrigation diversion structure and water ran into the then-dry Salton Sink for the next two years. Today the Salton Sea is in a battle for its survival with man and nature.  In the 50s and 60s it became a water sports and tourism destination.  Cities were planned, marinas were built and hotels and resorts flourished.  There were yacht clubs, speed boat races, and Hollywood stars drove the 45 minutes southeast from Palm Springs to have fun in the clear blue water.  Communities grew up around the Salton Sea shoreline: Desert Shores, Salton City, Salton Sea Beach with its marina. Over on the east side of the lake were the North Shore Yacht Club designed by desert modernist Albert Frey, the resort town of Bombay Beach and the Niland Marina State Park.  

It is a world with history and beauty that deserves to be saved. It is a spectacular landscape of desert and clear blue sky, yet at the same time it has been ravaged by nature and neglect.  The remains of mankind are rotting and being swallowed by the salt and the sea.  The beaches mostly consist of ground up fishbones.  As the sea evaporates the vast community of Tilapia are left on shore to rot and to be crushed into sand.  The dam that was in New Mexico has been closed for many years, never to be opened again.  The only water that has fed the sea is from agricultural runoff and the occasional passing rainstorm.  The sea is evaporating and sinking at an alarming rate.  Once the sea drops to reveal the seabed, all of the naturally occurring toxins, combined with toxins from fertilizers will be swept up into the air and, with the prevailing east to west desert winds travel to Palm Springs and beyond to Los Angeles and SanDiego.  It is an environmental time bomb  for Southern California.

 

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