Brand & Martinez for September 11, 2012

Salton Sea creates a stink across Southern California

A plan to save the Salton Sea

Sanden Totten / KPCC

A still day at the Salton Sea.

If you've been noticing a strange odor in the air lately, you are definitely not alone. Thousands of people all over Southern California have been complaining about a "mystery stench." And here to unravel that mystery is producer Meghan McCarty. She's been monitoring the situation for us.

All the way from the Coachella Valley and the Inland Empire to the San Fernando Valley, "the Big Stink" of 2012 is taking over Southern California. According to officials with the South Coast air Quality Management District, the smell is coming from the Salton Sea.

The Salton Sea is located inland in the Coachella Valley, and it's evaporating, so it's getting saltier and saltier. That leads to massive fish die-offs. And, all of the rotting fish can cause some pretty strong odors.

But how did smells all the way from the Salton Sea make it to L.A.? According to spokesman Sam Atwood, "it's practically unprecedented."


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