The largest lake in California was created by accident in 1905. It enjoyed a brief spell of popularity as a resort in the 1950’s but declined due to high salinity and heavy farm fertiliser run-off. The Salton Sea has a salinity exceeding 4.0% w/v (saltier than seawater) and many species of fish can no longer survive here. It is slowly evolving as an environmental crisis as the lake is at risk of drying up and may no longer be able to support thousands of migratory birds moving from Alaska to South America. The health of people living in the Imperial and Coachella valleys may also be threatened by the spread of salty dust from the lake bed. A plan to fully restore the Salton Sea is estimated to cost $9 billion so only much smaller more manageable projects are currently being considered.
All Images Copyright Jim Johnston 2017.