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Salton Sea Management Efforts

Within the last forty years, numerous plans and projects had been brought forward with little success due to conflicting efforts and funding constraints. The most current effort to improve air quality, preserve fish, birds, and wildlife is the Salton Sea Management Program (SSMP).

The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA), the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)—together, the SSMP team—are focused on implementing the Salton Sea Management Program’s (SSMP’s) Phase I: 10-Year Plan to improve conditions around the Sea.

SSMP Project Timeline

Water Backbone Infrastructure Construction Timeline

SSMP Timeline.png

Current Projects

The State’s Phase I Species Conservation Habitat New River East Project (SCH). Implementation of the SCH project, via a design-build contract, was initiated in 2021 and is moving forward at full steam. The SCH project will restore approximately 4,100 acres of shallow water habitat lost as a result of the Salton Sea’s increasing salinity and receding shoreline.

Vegetation Enhancement Projects. The goal of these projects is to restore exposed lakebed areas around the Salton Sea through native vegetation establishment, enhancement of existing vegetation stands, and stabilization of the lakebed through physical means to allow seed germination and plant growth

North Lake Project. Approximately 1,600 acres of aquatic habitat will be restored. Currently an adjacent 160-acre project is being developed as North Lake Pilot Demonstration Project.

The Desert Shores Channel Restoration Project would refill the five southernmost boat channels in the Desert Shores Marina.

Audubon Bombay Beach Wetland Enhancement Project. The SSMP Team is coordinating with Audubon to advance this project which aims to stabilize, preserve, and enhance an existing emergent wetland over 832 acres adjacent to the community of Bombay Beach.

There are some other efforts not part of the SSMP but working in collaboration with some of the same stakeholders, like Torres-Martinez Wetland Project, a State-funded effort of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians to build shallow wetlands along the northern edge of the Salton Sea.

Dust Mitigation Measures: Feasible Dust Suppression Projects (BACM pilot projects), proof-of-concept construction in agricultural land that can lead to potentially larger USDA funding.

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