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Updating California’s quest to preserve the Salton Sea

The remains of a marina in Salton City, California, March 1st, 2017.
The remains of a marina in Salton City, California, March 1st, 2017.

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The largest lake in the state of California could soon finally be on its way to recovery after years of delays and hand-wringing.

The California Natural Resources Agency announced a 10 year, $383 million plan that aims to complete a number of projects left to languish for the last several years while funding was approved. It starts with building a network of small ponds and marshy wetlands across 29,000 acres of land that will not only help cover the large swaths of lakebed that create toxic dust storms, but also provide a habitat for migrating birds. So far, the state has earmarked $80.5 million for these projects, but the plan does outline more funding that will be necessary, and it’s not clear exactly from where that money will come.

Supports say the plan is long overdue and a step in the direction of finally resolving the expensive environmental crisis at the Salton Sea. Critics say while it’s certainly time something be done about the ongoing issues, the fact remains that no one knows how the restoration will be paid for or what happens if the state doesn’t follow through.

Desert Sun reporter Ian James joins Larry on AirTalk today to share the latest update on efforts to restore the Salton Sea.


Ian James, reporter for The Desert Sun covering water and the environment who has been covering the Salton Sea story; he tweets @TDSIanJames