Sacramento, California - As water levels in the Salton Sea continue to drop, exposing thousands of acres of barren shoreline, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced action on legislation – AB 1095 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) – and a series of measures to help protect Salton Sea habitat and air quality in nearby communities.
“The Salton Sea has a long and storied history in California and with these key restoration projects, the state is helping protect air quality, while maintaining a viable water supply in the region,” said Governor Brown.
The Salton Sea, a man-made lake 125 miles southeast of Los Angeles, was created in 1905. Since then, water levels have steadily declined, leaving thousands of previously submerged acres exposed, increasing the risk of dust storms.
The actions announced today are the product of recommendations from the Salton Sea Task Force and include:
Restoring up to 12,000 acres of shoreline habitat over the next five years.
Restoring up to 25,000 acres of additional exposed shoreline starting in 2020.
Convening a scientific advisory committee to ensure that the best available science guides the habitat restoration efforts.
The California Natural Resources Agency will move forward with these actions in the months ahead and will also work with Colorado River officials to accelerate planning, permitting and construction. With the Governor’s signature on AB 1095, the administration will identify for the Legislature “shovel-ready” restoration projects at the Salton Sea that are in either the final planning, environmental review or permitting phase by March.
The Salton Sea Task Force was established by the administration in May and includes experts from the California Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agencies. The task force held 16 community meetings and sought input from tribal leaders, federal agencies, local water districts, local leaders and other public and private stakeholders with an interest in the Salton Sea to produce its recommendations. Last month, Governor Brown appointed Bruce Wilcox assistant secretary for Salton Sea policy at the Natural Resources Agency to oversee habitat restoration efforts along the shoreline.
Additional details regarding the administration’s actions to protect the Salton Sea are available here.