Can Salton Sea be saved? It’s turning into an ecological disaster

A “no fishing” sign appears on the banks of the Salton Sea in Southern California. Photo by Shutterstock.

The water of the Salton Sea is so salty that birds, fish, and insects can’t survive. Its lakebed also grows drier by the day, revealing toxic dust that can blow all the way to Los Angeles. The body of water is a far cry from its heyday in the mid-20th century as a resort oasis in the desert between Joshua Tree and the U.S.-Mexico border. A recent plan to fix it included pumping desalinated ocean water from the Sea of Cortez — but it’s been rejected by a state panel led by UC Santa Cruz experts. 



  • Ian James - reporter covering water in California and the West, Los Angeles Times