Salton Sea Unit

Salton Sea

North shore of the Salton Sea, Riverside County

DWR's Salton Sea Unit supports the California Natural Resources Agency’s Salton Sea Management Program (SSMP), created by then-Gov. Jerry Brown’s Salton Sea Task Force to address the urgent public and ecological health issues resulting from the drying and shrinking of the Salton Sea. The issues include air quality impacts from dust emissions and loss of important wildlife habitat.

While the SSMP is a long-range program, its immediate focus is on the development and implementation of the Phase I: 10-Year Plan. We support the SSMP and the Phase I Plan by providing planning, engineering, and environmental expertise for design and implementation of dust-suppression and habitat projects. The Phase I Plan includes projects that will be completed as early as the end of 2022. Proposition 1 provided $80 million in funding for SSMP implementation.

About the Salton Sea

The Salton Sea is California’s largest lake, extending from the Coachella Valley into Imperial Valley. It is 35 miles long and 15 miles wide. Though saltier than the ocean, the Salton Sea supports an abundance of fish and is a food source for millions of migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway.

Over the last several decades, water levels at the Salton Sea have declined and salinity concentrations have increased due to climate fluctuations, agricultural conservation measures, cropping practices, and reduced inflows from Mexico.

Declining lake levels create more particulate air pollution that threatens important bird habitat and poses public health risks.

In May 2015, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. created the Salton Sea Task Force and has directed agencies to develop a comprehensive management plan for the Sea to meet a short-term goal to build 9,000 to 12,000 acres of habitat and dust suppression projects, and a longer-term goal of up to 25,000 acres.

salton sea map with project locations

Map of current Salton Sea project locations.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Email Us

Department of Water Resources
Integrated Regional Water Management
Salton Sea Unit
901 P Street, Room 411-A
Sacramento, CA 95814

News

In a key step toward stemming one of the state’s most significant public health and ecological challenges, DWR today released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a large-scale, multimillion-dollar project at the southern end of the Salton Sea. The 3,770-acre Species Conservation Habitat (SCH) project will suppress hazardous dust contributing to ...

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