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Local Lawmaker Says Salton Sea Restoration Benefits Entire State

Some California legislators are questioning a multi-billion-dollar plan to restore the Salton Sea. But a San Diego State Senator says the effort benefits the entire state. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has more.

The Salton Sea stretches across the Imperial and Riverside County line. The 365-square-mile lake is suffering from rising levels of salt, fish die-offs and other problems. Restoration plans have been in the works for years. But now a state legislative committee questions whether billions of dollars should be spent on the sea. Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny says voters have already approved the money.

Ducheny: Now what this bill that's pending in the assembly does is moves that process the next step forward. It says OK, now we have the plan, let's start on phase one.

Ducheny's bill provides $47 million for the first phase of the restoration effort. She says the spending plan is flexible. The Assembly Appropriations Committee considers the bill in the next few weeks. The Salton Sea is a critical stop on the Pacific Flyway for more than 400 species of migratory birds. Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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