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Plan To Restore Habitat, Suppress Dust At Salton Sea Is Behind Schedule

Boat ramps at the Salton Sea’s Red Hill Bay Marina were once functional, but ...

Photo by Luke Runyon / KUNC

Above: Boat ramps at the Salton Sea’s Red Hill Bay Marina were once functional, but have been rendered obsolete by the lake’s ever-widening shoreline, Feb. 20, 2018.

Plan To Restore Habitat, Suppress Dust At Salton Sea Is Behind Schedule

GUEST:

Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella

Transcript

Plans to control dangerous dust from the Salton Sea are behind schedule. There are about 20,000 acres of exposed lakebed on California’s largest lake. The dust created from the dry lakebed is expected to make the area’s already high asthma rate even higher.

The amount of exposed lakebed is rapidly increasing because mitigation water is no longer being put into the sea. Under a deal to transfer water to San Diego County and the Coachella Valley, mitigation water was sent to the Salton Sea to help slow the shrinking of the sea. That ended in December 2017.

Last year, the state approved a 10-year plan to restore habitat at the Salton Sea and tamp down dust. But less than a year in it's unlikely the plan's first target, 500 acres of projects completed by the end of 2018, will be met. The plan is expected to cost about $410 million. So far $80 million in funding has been allocated.

Another $200 million will go towards the plan if voters pass Proposition 68 on the June ballot.

RELATED: Ballot Measure Aims To Preserve Salton Sea, Help Air Quality

Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia represents Imperial County and eastern Riverside County. He’s also chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife.

Garcia held a state oversight hearing on the 10-year Salton Sea Management Plan earlier this week.

He joins Midday Edition Thursday to discuss the status of the projects outlined in the plan.

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