Crisis at the Salton Sea: The Vital Role of Science

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Marilyn Fogel , Hoori Ajami, Emma Aronson, Roya Bahreini, Wilfred Elders, Darrel Jenerette, David Lo, Timothy Lyons, Michael McKibben, William Porter, Arun Raju, Kurt Schwabe, Caroline Hung, Jonathan Nye 


The Salton Sea—a hypersaline, terminal lake in southern California—is in crisis. A combination of mismanagement and competition among federal, state and local agencies has hindered efforts to address declining lake levels and unstable water chemistry. This delay has heightened the public health threat to regional communities as retreating shorelines expose dry lakebed— a source of potentially toxic dust—while aquatic ecosystems face collapse due to rising salinity and oxygen loss. Although state agencies are making efforts to mitigate the problems, the scientific assumptions informing current management practices are outdated or lacking entirely, making outcomes unpredictable at best.



Atmospheric Sciences, Biogeochemistry, Chemistry, Climate, Earth Sciences, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Public Health, Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Geochemistry, Geology, Geomorphology, Hydrology, Medicine and Health Sciences, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Public Health, Social and Behavioral Sciences


Aerosols, Dust, Adapative managment, Ecosystems, Habitat, Public health, Geothermal, Saline


Published: 2021-03-04 01:54

Last Updated: 2021-08-27 18:45

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International