About

Who We Are

Created in 1993 the Salton Sea Authority is a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) responsible for working in consultation and cooperation with the State of California to oversee the comprehensive restoration of the Salton Sea.

Although the Salton Sea Authority and its partner agencies recognize the state and federal roles and responsibilities at the Salton Sea, the Salton Sea Authority is directed by board-adopted policy to assert a leadership role to ensure local priorities are recognized.

Accordingly, the Authority has successfully fought to assert a local leadership role in the revitalization efforts for the Sea. We are pleased to acknowledge that progress is being achieved on this front with improved cooperation between the Authority and its state and federal partners.

SEEKING SEA REVITALIZATION

Alarmed at the lack of early action by the state and other entities ...

… to mitigate and restore potential impacts from the QSA water transfer, the SSA and its partner agencies appealed to the state legislature in 2012 to establish a stronger governance role for the Authority in matters pertaining to Sea revitalization. Specifically, the Authority requested the legislature to empower the Authority to develop an updated vision for a revitalized Sea, and to also develop a strategy to pay for the revitalization in cooperation with the state, as prescribed by law.

The California Legislature and Governor approved a vehicle to address this governance issue with AB 71, a bill designed to ensure that the local member agencies of the Salton Sea Authority have a voice in full consultation and coordination as partners with the state, working to restore the Salton Sea.

A New Partnership

By establishing a partnership ...

... between the California Natural Resources Agency and the Salton Sea Authority, AB 71 addressed the void created by the elimination of the Salton Sea Restoration Council, a state appointed body that never held a single meeting. In addition, AB 71 authorized funding from the Salton Sea Restoration Fund for the Salton Sea Authority to lead a feasibility action plan. This is now referred to as the Financial Feasibility Action Plan (FFAP). While there may be occasional issues among the local agencies comprising the Salton Sea Authority, there is absolutely no disagreement on the point that revitalization of the Sea with a significant state investment is long overdue. Damages from a “Do Nothing” approach, as estimated recently by the Pacific Institute, could range from $29 billion to $70 billion over the next 30 years.

Today and Moving Forward

The Salton Sea Authority recognizes that revitalizing the environment and economy of the Sea requires a strategy that delivers multiple benefits resulting from thoughtful integration of economic opportunity and environmental stability. The state partnership with the Authority authorized by AB 71 has been instrumental in creating significant momentum behind this strategy of integration. The Authority is living up to its obligations under the provisions of AB 71 that drove state funding into the Authority to develop the Financial Feasibility Action Plan. The completion of the Authority’s work – on time and under budget -- offers hope that this partnership can seize opportunities to transform the economically and environmentally distressed Salton Sea region into a healthy environment and prosperous community.

The Salton Sea Funding and Feasibility Action Plan

The broad goal of the Salton Sea Funding and Feasibility Action Plan project is to develop an updated vision for the Salton Sea and surrounding region that matches funding realities with needs. The project has three specific goals for the Salton Sea and its surrounding area:

  • Provide a healthy environment for residents around the Sea
  • Work toward a Salton Sea and bordering habitat that sustains enough aquatic life to provide habitat for wildlife on the Pacific flyway
  • Help revitalize the economy around the Salton Sea and in Imperial and Riverside Counties

Read the Salton Sea Funding and Feasibility Action Plan.