Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Interior announced $3 million for the rehabilitation of the Salton Sea.

“I’m excited that my efforts have led to the U.S. Department of Interior allocating funds for this vital rehabilitation,” said Rep. Vargas. “Funding the Salton Sea Research Project is the first step in investing in our constituent’s health and in the future of the Salton Sea.”

The Salton Sea is the largest inland body of water in California and one of the few remaining large-scale wetland habitats in the state. The Sea’s rapid decline in water level and surrounding wetlands poses significant health risks to constituents residing in the area. Miles of dangerous lakebed sediments become airborne, contributing to serious medical issues in one of the already most medically underserved communities in the country.

“Today, I’m thrilled the work Rep. Raul Ruiz (CA-36) and I have put into this project has been rewarded,” said Rep. Vargas. “I look forward to continue to work with Governor Brown, state and local partners to tackle this environmental and health crisis.”

The funds announced will be used to build a 31 acre wetland along the Alamo River in order to improve water quality, provide habitat and bolster state efforts to reach a comprehensive management plan for the Salton Sea.