Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Welcome to the Salton Sea

A oasis in the Imperial Valley of Southern California, the Salton Sea was home to yacht clubs, supper clubs and resorts. Its boom was during that post-war honeymoon of mixed drinks and the care free melodies of Perry Como. In a little over 2 hours suburbanites could flee the congestion of LA and enjoy the Sea & Sun.
Today the yacht club isn't looking so swell. Instead of a happening riviera in the sun, I came across a ghost town with a god awful smell. With no outflow and increasing salinity the sea is becoming a ever salty garbage dump. Agricultural runoff is having an effect on what little can survive in the briny waters.
Over the years much has changed, there's still a sea and no shortage of sun. Unfortunately Salton City, Desert Shores and Mecca (named in a more open minded era) have been reduced to bare lots, streets, sun and sea. It was a community developed in an era of unstoppable progress with no problem we couldn't construct our way out of. For decades groups have attempted to gather support for a variety of projects that would help save the sea. So far nothing has developed into anything more than talks and the agreement that its a shame what happened. What I realized while driving the western boundary of the Salton Sea is that this area is only the #1 priority of a small group of people.