6 Ways to Save the Salton Sea and Colorado Delta

Marsh in the Colorado River Delta
Some marshes have been restored in the Colorado River Delta, but there is much more work to do. Photo: Cheryl Zook, National Geographic

By Benny Andrés

With scientific modeling foreshadowing megadroughts in the Southwest and Great Plains, it is imperative policymakers implement freshwater projects along the lower Colorado River, in particular, the Salton Sea, a 376-square-mile freshwater agricultural sump in southeastern California, and in the Colorado River Delta where the waterway ends its journey in the Baja California desert.

Following the elimination of 95 percent of California’s wetlands in the last century, the Salton Sea provides habitat for several endangered species and is a vital stopover for migrating birds along the Pacific Coast. Over 400 bird species–the largest documented number in North America–nest there.

For half a century, scientists, politicians, and pundits have recognized the impending collapse of the Salton Sea ecosystem, primarily because of hyper-salinity from farm run-off in the Imperial and Mexicali Valley, a desert basin bisected by the international border. Unfortunately, local, state and federal officials have failed to agree on a plan to save the inland body of water.

While the Salton Sea teeters on environmental ruin, across the border in the Mexicali Valley, the —> Read More Here


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