Take Two

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Failure to restore Salton Sea could cost the state billions

by Take Two

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

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

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