*** TREE HUGGER ALERT ***
For many years now there have been ongoing plans developed to save the largest lake in California. Many people point to irrigation demands for Southern California and the effects of global warming as imminent threats to the livelihood of this water sports recreational area.
But the greatest risk to the Salton Sea is the geology and hydrology of the region.
Located literally feet away from the San Andreas Fault, the salt lake that many Californians adore is new and not just geologically speaking. By comparison, the Great Salt Lake (which is much larger and saltier) is the remnant of the enormous Lake Bonneville formed over 14,500 years ago as the galciers of the last ice age receded. The Salton Sea was formed by an overflow of the flooded Colorado River in 1905.
The natural sink of the area has been a terminal lake many times over pre-recorded history. It makes sense. the area's lowest point is a scant 5 feet higher in elevation than the lowest point of Death Valley. In fact, the surface of the Salton Sea is 225 feet BELOW sea level. The salinity is a function of residual minerals in the ground beneath the lake that were left when previous incarnations of this inland sea evaporated.
As a boating enthusiast, I appreciate how much a gigantic inland waterpark, like the Salton Sea, means as a recreational center. As a bird watcher, I can appreciate the newfound importance of the Salton Sea as a stopping point on migration routes. But as a true supporter of the ways of nature, I can only suggest that the State of California enjoy the Salton Sea while you can and stop wasting the precious liquid resources and money that you don't have trying to beat the earth at her own game.
Its not nice to fool Mother Nature.
And it never really works.