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Documentary On Man's 116-Mile Walk Around Salton Sea To Be Screened At Oceanside Film Fest

Documentary On Man's 116-Mile Walk Around Salton Sea To Be Screened At Oceanside Film Fest
Documentary On Man's 116-Mile Walk Around Salton Sea To Be Screened At Oceanside Film Fest GUEST:Randy Brown, subject, "SOS: The Salton Sea Walk"

Two years ago, my guest Randy Brown shows an unusual way to spend his summer vacation. He hiked along the entire perimeter of the Sultan see in Riverside County. It was a 116 mile track and temperatures hit as high as 110 degrees. Brown was in the process of starring in a documentary about his hike and the fate of the sea. The film will have the premier next week. Joining me is Randy Brown, the documentary is called, "SOS: The Salton Sea Walk" . Welcome back to the program.It is nice to be here.I spoke to you when you had just completed the hike around the Sultan see. You will still hurting from the experience. What was the toughest part of the track ?The toughest part of the walk was getting through the obstacles, the barriers, the rivers to cross and the mud and the quicksand. Perhaps what was worse was the toll it took on my body. I was still in pain walking that distance on flat ground is not easy. Walking that in temperatures that high through the quicksand with wet feet through the water caused me not only aches and pains but blisters and exhaustion, pure exhaustion.It took you six days to do it ?That is right. You bound parts to be beautiful. That goes against the popular notion that is a stagnant eyesore.People tend to focus on the decay and the dead fish on the shoreline. When you go online, that is what you see but if you spend time there as I did, you will see a lot of beauty ranging from the sunset to the wildlife that is still there. There is beautiful and calm waters. There is a lot of beauty there but people, it is easier to focus on the negative. That is the lowest common denominator.The Sultan see is drying up. What signs of that did you see ?The biggest sign was in the year of training that it took me in 2014 to prepare for the walk in 2015. In that year, I saw the water level drop dozens of feet just in that short amount of time. In the time I been back to visit, I have seen the water line received even more, several yards. It is frightening how quickly it is receding and it is drying up.This is a significant year environmentally for the Sultan see. The mitigation water is said to be turned off at the end of 2017. We have a clip from the producer of the film, "SOS: The Salton Sea Walk". His name is Blake Alexander. The lake drying up will be a problem for the whole country.The sea affects the nation. It is a misnomer that it is this one sparsely populated area out in the desert. The dust blows will affect LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix and two thirds of all of the winter fruits and vegetables in the U.S. are going there. It will affect the entire nation vegetable supply and also, not to do doing -- doom and gloom, there is an opportunity to save the sea and restored for recreational purposes and also provide energy and clean drinking water at the same time. Possibly have a longer-term solution for the drought in Southern California.One thing he did not mention is that the Sultan see is one of the last wetlands for migrating birds in the West. Randy, that is a great concern isn't it?Yes. If the seed dries up, the birds have no where to go. Before the that, most areas are parking lots and grocery stores. This really is the last remaining places for them. If it dries up, I do not know where they will go or what will happen. It will not be good.What was your original motivation for hiking around the Sultan see? Was it to raise awareness ?No. My original motivation was a personal go. I was overweight. I was walking more often. I was challenging myself, walking in the hills above where I live. I enjoyed walking in the heat. I wanted to challenge myself. I thought back to the time I spent as a child at the Salton Sea. We used to camp. I knew it got hot there often. It was very hot. I thought, maybe I could walk around the Salton Sea. I did research and no one had done it before or along the shoreline. I really started out as a personal goal.When did the environmental opportunity of doing this open up to you?After I spent several months in training and mapping out the shoreline, it took a year to do that. A few months into that process, I started talking to the locals and I met up with a group called the eco-media Compass who helped me quite a bit in planning my walk. I realized what an issue the state of Salton Sea was, not just for the lack of recreation but the people who live there. There is a health issue with the potential of the dust that the producer mentioned. It opened my eyes to what a sad date the Salton Sea was and how worse it would get. As I continued my planning, I get it a larger social media following and I had a voice where I can get a positive word out about the Salton Sea. And talking to people and meeting or people, I started to use the voice for good, to try to get the word out."SOS: The Salton Sea Walk" Alexander had this to say about the proposed solutions.There are solutions that will save the sea and stabilize it on a long-term basis. It is about the people. It is about getting people to care and getting enough people to rally around the cause and to make enough sounds that politicians take notice and push something together. There are so many moving parts to this. It is not going to be easy. It is about the people and it can be done.Is that what you would like to see this film create? A surge of interest in the problem of the Salton Sea?I hope it does. Without that interest and the voice of the people like mentioned, nothing will be done or not enough will be done. I really hope this additional spotlight will get more people to realize what an issue it is. Again, not just for the people who live there but people all over Southern California and potentially throughout the entire country if this goes on to affect the agriculture. I do hope that it wakes people up and hopefully get them to make a change and do something about it.What would you like to see if you go back to take another hike, maybe not as long but let's say 10 or 20 years from now ?I would love to see water. I would not want to see it dried up. I would like to see more recreation and the state has accomplished what they said they were going to do. Stabilize the water I do not want to see a dead Salton Sea."SOS: The Salton Sea Walk" will premiere on Monday night , August 7th. Ivan's speaking to Randy Brown. Thank you.Thank you.

Randy Brown became the first person to hike the 116-mile perimeter of the Salton Sea in June 2015.

Now Brown's hike, which he completed during 105 to 110-degree weather, and the problems the sea is facing are the subject of a documentary that is set to debut at the Oceanside Film Festival on Monday.

The Salton Sea is California's largest lake. The sea, which is located in both Imperial and Riverside counties, is shrinking and thus exposing the lakebed that turns into dust when the wind blows. Mitigation water is being put in the Salton Sea through the end of 2017 as part of a deal that transfers water to San Diego County and the Coachella Valley. The shrinking of the sea is expected to speed up once mitigation water stops going into the sea at the end of 2017.


"The sea really affects the nation. It's really a misnomer that it's just this one sort of sparsely populated area out in the desert. The dust flows if the sea dries up will affect LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix. Two-thirds of all the winter fruits and vegetables in the U.S. are grown there so it's going to affect the nation's entire fruit and veggie supply," said the producer of the film, Blake Alexander.

RELATED: Personal Challenge To Hike Salton Sea Turns Into Environmental Mission

Brown will join Midday Edition on Thursday to talk about why he circumnavigated the Salton Sea and what he hopes the film will accomplish.

"SOS: Salton Sea Walk" will premiere at the Oceanside Film Festival on Monday, Aug. 7. The screening is at the Sunshine Brooks Theatre in Oceanside at 7:13 p.m.