The projects shown on this map would protect about 30,000 acres of playa that would otherwise be exposed along the shoreline. While the central body of water is expected to reduce in size over time, these projects would allow water to be distributed from the outer elevations to the lower center lake to reduce dust emissions from potentially exposed areas.
In 2018 Community Spectrum featured a story called “The Receding Salton Sea” which started saltonseawatch.com so our viewers could see for themselves what is happening at the Salton Sea
Community Spectrum manages saltonseawatch.com. For consistency, Spectrums videographers live and operate locally providing a local perspective.
Saltonseawatch.com videographers have documented happenings at the Salton Sea and as you can see by past visits the water remaining in the Salton Sea is receding rapidly.
Rob Zimmer explains about his expertise on the Salton Sea and discusses the sea’s problems, possible solutions and the health risks it poses if left unattended. VIDEO
PROJECT TEAM This Annual Report was prepared by staff from the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the following consultants supporting the Salton Sea Management Program: Cardno, ESA, and Tetra Tech.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We acknowledge data, maps and photographs provided by the various organizations working in the Salton Sea, including the Imperial Irrigation District, Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, Audubon California, and the Oasis Bird Observatory.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Salton Sea Management Program (SSMP) made progress in 2020 toward reducing exposed lakebed and creating habitat at the Salton Sea (Sea). Even amid challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, delivering projects that improve conditions for residents as well as wildlife at the Sea remains a key priority for the Newsom Administration. The SSMP worked closely with local, State, Tribal and federal partners to advance important work in 2020 and is poised to build on that momentum in 2021.
Project Delivery The SSMP team marked progress by beginning construction on the Species Conservation Habitat (SCH) project, the State’s first largescale project to reduce exposed lakebed and create environmental habitat. Following initial onsite work in late fall, the State’s design-build contractors, Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., began construction in January 2021 on the $206.5 million project located at the southern end of the Sea on both sides of the New River. The SCH project will create a network of ponds and wetlands to provide important fish and bird habitat and suppress dust emissions to improve regional air quality as the Salton Sea recedes. The project will cover approximately 4,110 acres, an increase over the previously estimated 3,770 acres due to an updated design. Construction is expected to continue through the end of 2023. The State team obtained site access to the SCH area in May 2019 and subsequently executed a water use agreement with Imperial Irrigation District (IID) to enable the project. The SCH is anticipated to create as many as 3,000 jobs over the course of construction. INFO
The Salton Sea is the largest inland body of water in California. As its water recedes exposes more and more shoreline of toxic elements that will impact populations as the wind blows. Video
Large-Scale Project Anchors State’s Efforts to Improve Conditions for Communities, Wildlife as Sea Recedes
The Species Conservation Habitat (SCH) project, located at the southern end of the Sea on both sides of the New River, will create a network of ponds and wetlands to provide important fish and bird habitat and suppress dust emissions to improve regional air quality as the Salton Sea recedes. The SCH project will cover approximately 4,110 acres, an increase over the previously estimated 3,770 acres due to an updated design. Construction is expected to continue through the end of 2023.
Following initial onsite work in late fall, the state’s design-build contractor, Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., this week began clearing vegetation and constructing an interception ditch to drain the site. The contractor also began construction of a southern habitat berm.
“Beginning actual construction on this large project represents important progress,” California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot said. “It is only possible thanks to strong coordination with our local, state and federal partners, including Imperial Irrigation District, Imperial County, the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District, the Colorado River Regional Water Quality Control Board, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Obviously, much more work lies ahead. We need to continue to deliver projects on the ground that improve conditions at the Salton Sea for residents as well as for wildlife.”
The SCH project anchors phase one of the state’s Salton Sea Management Program, which centers on constructing wetlands and other projects to limit exposed lakebed, reduce airborne dust and restore environmental habitat on 30,000 acres around the Sea. The SCH is a $206.5 million investment in Imperial County that will create as many as 3,000 jobs.