Friday, March 30, 2012

The Left Coast,Salton Sea...............Road Stories Pt III

So it turns out that the Salton Sea was an accident,a man made accident in 1905 stemming from a canal that diverted water from the Colorado River to the agricultural area of the Imperial Valley.
There was an overflow,an unplanned change of course,and an inland sea was born.

The Salton Sea used to be called the 'French Riviera of California',it had Yacht Clubs complete with celebrities.Jerry Lewis and the Marx Brothers kept boats there,

That was then.

By the seventies,salt heavy soil from the desert(a prehistoric ocean leftover)began infiltrating the Salton Sea.
Add some industrial waste and some toxic run-off from Mexicali and pesticides from the Imperial Valley agriculture fields,and the salinity of the sea began to rise.

Add it all up and it was a poisonous brew,resulting in the death of millions of birds and fish.
The sea became nearly 30% saltier than the ocean,it rose,and pretty much swallowed up homes and businesses along it's shores.

Traveling through the area as I left the TDS Jeep Safari,I noticed that there are pockets of reclamation,but due to the sea's salinity,the Salton Sea will never again see anything near the boom it witnessed in the 50's and 60's.
The main problem is that the Salton Sea has no out-flow,so the salinity just stays.
You can still fish there,Tilapia being the fish able to survive the salinity,and you can swim there also,but it's going to be salty.
There is a museum there also,the old North Shore Yacht Club,which I didn't have a chance to visit,but efforts are underway to try to reclaim some of the Sea's former glory.

In the meantime....



Stormdrane said...

I wonder if anyone thought of farming seaweed or kelp out there, if possible?...

WhereThe HellisMurph said...

SD,probably a better use for it since it's too salty to eat :-)