SAVE THE SALTON SEA!

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to make saving the Salton Sea a top priority.

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Why Save the Sea

The Salton Sea, California’s largest inland body of water, straddles Riverside and Imperial counties, about 160 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Tens of thousands of people live within a few miles from the sea, and right now the sea and nearby populations are facing a major ecological and public health crisis.

The Salton Sea is rapidly shrinking. As the water recedes, it exposes toxic dust that is carried by the wind for miles, harming the respiratory health of the people living close to the sea. The smaller sea also means the loss of critical migratory bird habitat and missed opportunities for wildlife conservation, recreation, and economic growth.

Alianza Coachella Valley and partners in the Environmental Justice Campaign work to make sure saving the Salton Sea is a priority for the state of California and the US federal government. We envision a stable, thriving body of water that sustains wildlife and improves the quality of life for people living nearby with amenities for outdoor recreation and community gatherings.

Voices of the Sea

“The Salton Sea is important to me because it is a part of my community and where my family and I have sprouted our roots. The conditions at the Salton Sea are worsening and immediate action is needed to ensure that communities can continue to live here and our future children to grow up here.” — Adriana Torres, North Shore

What is environmental justice?

Environmental Justice means every person, regardless of where they live, income, social status or race has access to live sustainably in a healthy environment with the basic amenities needed to thrive, free of pollution and exploitation.

Salton Sea Communities

Not far from the well-known Coachella Valley cities of Palm Springs, Indio, and Coachella, tens of thousands of people live in the often ignored unincorporated communities of Mecca, Thermal, Oasis, North Shore, and Salton City.

Residents here are likely to be first- and second-generation Latinx immigrants drawn to the area to work in farm fields that help feed the nation. Decades of disinterest and weak committments from policy leaders have led to high rates of poverty, low high school graduations rates, and residents more likely to live in poor-quality housing and in close proxmity to environmental hazards.

Despite these challenges, people happily call the area home and community pride is strong.

North Shore

Population Estimate: 2,756
Hispanic or Latino: 97%
Median Age: 38.3 years
Median Income: $17,930

Source: American Community Survey 2019 Estimates

Mecca

Population Estimate: 6,635
Hispanic or Latino: 99.8%
Median Age: 30.2 years
Median Income: $16,954

Source: American Community Survey 2019 Estimates

Salton City

Salton CityPopulation Estimate: 6,250
Hispanic or Latino: 68.3%
Median Age: 40.5 years
Median Income: $17,279

Source: American Community Survey 2019 Estimates

Thermal

 Population Estimate: 1,333
Hispanic or Latino: 99.3%
Median Age: 29.8 years
Median Income: $17,334

Source: American Community Survey 2019 Estimates

Oasis

OasisPopulation Estimate: 2,857
Hispanic or Latino: 95%
Median Age: 31.6 years
Median Income: $12,842

Source: American Community Survey 2019 Estimates

The Receding Shore

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Salton Sea Improvement Projects

Several efforts are underway to restore and sustain the Salton Sea. The Environmental Justice Campaign is following all of these closely and encouraging community members to share their ideas. 

Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy Pilot Project

The Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy is a state agency established in 1991 with a mission to protect the natural and cultural resources of the Coachella Valley. Its board meeting on the second Tuesday of every other month at 3 p.m.

Find out more at the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy website.

North Lake Pilot Project

The Salton Sea Authority, in partnership with the California Natural Resources Agency, is developing a 156-acre pilot project near the community of North Shore that would replace lost deep-water habitat to aid species recovery and create shallow habitat to suppress dust along more than one mile of receding shoreline.

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Several efforts are underway to restore and sustain the Salton Sea. The Environmental Justice Campaign is following all of these closely and encouraging community members to share their ideas.

Lithium Valley Commission

California has established the Blue Ribbon Commission on Lithium Extraction to explore opportunities to develop a lithium industry in the Salton Sea region that can aid California’s transition to a clean energy economy through the manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles.

Find out more at the commission’s website.

Salton Sea Management Program

The state of California oversees this program to protect the environment and community health at the Salton Sea, which includes a 10-year plan to construct 30,000 acres of habitat and dust suppression projects around the sea. As part of the SSMP effort, the California Natural Resources Agency is providing opportunities for community engagement and transparency.

More information on the state’s efforts can be found on its website.

Find Out More

To learn more about Alianza’s Environmental Justice Campaign, visit the campaign’s webpage or email info@alianzacv.org.

Kounkuey Design Initiative
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE FOR RURAL STUDIES
Loma Linda University
Audubon Society
Coachella Unincorporated
Sierra Club®