On November 5, 2015, officials took a step — albeit a modest one — toward restoring the beleaguered Salton Sea and possibly avoiding a predicted environmental and health catastrophe.
A ceremony attended by officeholders and others concerned with issues of water, wildlife and public health marked the beginning of a $3.5-million project to restore 420 acres of Red Hill Bay on the southeastern shore of the Salton Sea.
Once the bay was hip-deep with water. But in recent years, with the sea rapidly receding, the sea bottom, laden with pesticides and salt, has been exposed to the air, contributing to dust storms that have been blamed for the region’s high rate of asthma and other respiratory problems.
The 420 acres, part of the Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge, constitute only a small part of the newly exposed sea bottom at the Salton Sea.