Salton Sea Facts

What is the Salton Sea?

  • California’s largest lake – Surface Area: 343 sq mi; Shoreline: 110 miles; Depth: Ave. 29’, Deepest: 51’
  • National Wildlife priority – Home of North America’s largest population of migratory waterfowl outside of the Everglades, the Sea provides vital nesting habitat for 2/3 of the bird species in the Continental US
  • America’s Renewable Energy Powerhouse – Largest, most diverse sources of renewable energy
  • Situated in Riverside and Imperial Counties near the California‐Mexico border.
  • Water inflow roughly equal to evaporation = water 2 times saltier than the ocean
  • Sea elevation ‐‐ 235 feet below Sea Level
  • Cause of Decline: Reduced flows to the Sea and rising salinity (Read the Quantification Settlement Agreement)
  • Effect: Major Ecological Disaster
  • Effect: Elimination of a major Pacific Flyway Route, more than 400 species of birds
  • Effect: Negative impacts on human health and economy of the area, from the exposed playa created dust storms
  • Effect: A Triple Threat of ecological, economic and human health disasters converging at same time and place. This means the successful strategy for Sea recovery must be designed and implemented to deliver multiple benefits, which the SSA is committed to accomplish in its Guiding Principles.
  • Effect: Potential destabilization of water supply security for southwestern United States
  • Effect: $70 Billion – Predicted Damages to human health, ecosystem, property values, Ag and tourist economies over 30 years in a ‘Do Nothing’ scenario
  • Read more at: Hazard’s Toll: The Costs of Inaction at the Salton Sea