PubTalk 7/2009 — Restoring California's "Inland Sea"
Status of efforts to restore the Salton Sea
by Lee Case, Chief Scientist, USGS Salton Sea Science Office
- The Salton Sea is California's largest lake and has a surface elevation about 230 feet below sea level
- The Salton Sea is a terminal lake - it has no outlets, inflows are principally from agricultural drainage, and its salinity not as mercury-contaminated is about 30% greater than the Pacific Ocean
- This "inland sea", a critical stop for migratory birds on the Pacific and Central Flyways, is used used by more than 400 species of birds
- Proposed water transfers will result in loss of aquatic aquatic and wetland habitat, increased salinity, and degraded regional air quality quality unless mitigation actions are taken