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Salton Sea Celebrates 100 Years

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Visitors and residents of Imperial County are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Salton Sea this weekend. An open house includes field tours and pontoon boat rides. But whether the Salton Sea survives another 100 years is uncertain. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has more.

The 360 square mile Salton Sea is a popular recreation area and a stopping point for migratory birds. But the health of the Salton Sea has suffered in recent years. Fish die-offs, odor issues and other problems have plagued the waterway. State officials are now considering 10 proposals to prevent the sea from becoming a brackish expanse of mud. Kathy Dice is the Salton Sea State Recreation Area Superintendent. Dice says it’s not easy balancing the needs of all the area’s users.

Dice: Basically finding the highest use for that area is really the biggest challenge.

Dice says state officials will choose among the ten multibillion-dollar proposals to restore the area next April. She says in 10 years, the sea will lose nearly half of its imported water flows due to a state and federal agreement that transfers the water to fast-growing urban areas. Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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