Salton See - Living or dying

Essay by kamilzelezikCollege, UndergraduateA-, April 2004

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Salton Sea - Living or Dying

The Salton Sea is a naturally recurring salt lake, historically referred as Lake Cahuilla which has been cyclically reconstituted many times by the meandering of the Colorado River. This huge lake; California's largest lake, measuring 15 by 30 miles, and containing over 7.5 million acre-feet of water (Simon 1), shines with its beautiful smooth silver surface in the middle of Imperial Valley's wild desert. Salton Sea is beautiful but it's in a serious trouble. It's surface elevation, salinity and organic content is too high. Millions of fish and hundreds of thousands of birds have been constantly dying for last few years. The declining water quality if allowed to continue, will cause the Sea to be a further danger to wildlife, to people, and eventually to the whole Imperial Valley (DeBuys & Myers 239).

There is no mutual agreement regarding to the future of Salton Sea. Some scholars think that saving Salton Sea is just impractical; they say that the lake should be taken over by nature and basically dry up. It is true that the most recent rebirth of the Lake in early 1900's, happened just by the accident, a human mistake in poorly designed canal. But also the truth is that the Salton Sea today it is not only a wild water gathered on the desert but also a very sophisticated ecosystem with 384 species of birds, about 200 millions introduced marine fish, and endless green, irrigated fields of citrus, dates, grapes and artichokes (Nijhuis 2). The Salton Sea for thousands of Imperial Valley residents is a work and food resource, beloved homeland and a source of many unforgettable memories about a wonderful recreation spot where children could play experiencing this magnificent miracle of constantly adopting nature under the pressure of human...