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Failure to restore Salton Sea could cost the state billions




Tires line the edge of the Salton Sea where seagulls and California brown pelicans spend their time.
Tires line the edge of the Salton Sea where seagulls and California brown pelicans spend their time.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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The Salton Sea, the largest body of water in California, was once a tourist hot spot during the 1950s — that has since changed with it drying up, leaving a nasty stench.

The Riverside County Supervisors asked Congress to keep language in a bill that could funnel millions of dollars towards restoring the Salton Sea. Supervisors said the sea is at a point where it will either devolve “into an ecological and economic disaster,” or be transformed into a “healthy, attractive environment,” KPCC reported in March.

If something isn't done soon, California may wind up paying as much as $70 billion over the next few decades, according to a new report from the Pacific Institute. 

Michael Cohen is the author of that report and warns about the ecological, environmental and economical consequences that could arise from inaction. 

Hazard’s Toll: The Costs of Inaction at the Salton Sea