Salton Sea Ten Year Management Program Released
By Jim Predmore
California State Senator Ben Hueso and Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, along with other lawmakers and local officials, took a tour out to the Red Hill Marina at the Salton Sea this past Thursday. While there, they were given a presentation by some of the students from Brawley High School and from members of the Salton Sea Authority.
The students were speaking on their health concerns of the shrinking sea and the exposure of the toxic playa. Playa is the soil of the exposed lake bed that can become airborne when stirred up by the winds coming off of California’s largest lake. Some of the students spoke of the health issues that either themselves or some of their family have experienced, mainly asthma. Some of the families that have moved to the Imperial Valley from other parts of the country, who had never experienced any asthma problems, now do.
The tour took place on the same date that the Salton Sea Authority presented the 10 Year Salton Sea Management Plan. The plan is a 54-page outline of how the Authority is planning to take on the challenges of the shrinking sea. The plan calls for the creation of several different ponds that are to cover much of the exposed playa.
The plan uses four different appendices and is estimated to cost $383 Million over the next 10 years. The State of California has budgeted $80 million for the restoration of the sea, which leaves just over $300 million shortfall in funding. The $80 million will get the plan started and will take the plan into the year 2021, at which time more funding will be needed to continue the restoration.