Salinity In The Salton Sea

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In 1905, engineers were working on an irrigation canal wall on the Colorado River when a rush of water burst through and began to fill a nearby basin. For eighteen months after the incident, water flowed freely into the basin eventually filling it to form a lake. Hence, “The Accidental Sea,” or better known as the Salton Sea, was born. Because the Sea has no natural input of water, it is fed mainly by agricultural runoff from the Imperial and Coachella Valley. Furthermore, when the water evaporates, the dissolved salts are left behind causing an increase in salinity of the water (Salton Sea 1997). For the last fifteen years, the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) in San Diego has been feeding water to the Salton Sea to regulate salinity level…show more content…
Despite the high salinity levels, an estimated one hundred million fish thrive in the Sea, particularly the smaller, less salty pools of water scattered along the perimeter. Most of the population consists of resilient tilapia, with the remaining species such as sargo, orange mouth corvina, croaker, and the endangered desert pupfish. Barry Costa-Pierce, directory of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium describes the diverse ecosystem as “’… the most productive body of water of its size in the world’” (Cohns 2000). The hundreds of thousands of piscivorous birds depend on the flourishing fish populations for their food. If the Sea continued to recede, and the fish populations would plummet, then the migratory birds would be directly affected. The new plan to build ponds and increase wetland acre around the Sea would ensure that the fish have lower salinity water to breed and to live in; thusly, guaranteeing enough food for fish-eating birds and also habitat for other migratory or endangered birds and endangered fish…show more content…
Therefore, writing to a representative to reinforce an idea that he/she already believes in would be counteractive and somewhat redundant. Rather, writing to the public to spread awareness and to urge for funding the four-hundred-million-dollar proposal is more constructive overall. I have chosen to publish the op-ed in The Desert Sun, a newspaper serving the Palm Springs and Coachella Valley area. This publication is the most practical for two reasons: it serves a population that may be more unaware of the Salton Sea’s impact and the population is significantly more affluent than the Imperial Valley’s population. As a resident of the Coachella Valley, I can personally testify to the lack of urgency about the Salton Sea. We learn about the situation throughout school, but I never recall discussing the potential environmental, health, and economic effects if the water levels decreased. Additionally, the median household income in 2015 for Coachella Valley residents was just over fifty-three thousand dollars, with about forty-four percent of the population making over sixty thousand dollars. On the other hand, the median income in 2015 for the Imperial Valley was around forty-eight thousand dollars, with only about thirty percent making more than sixty-thousand dollars (“Imperial”). The difference between

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