Signs of Life Sprout Up Along the Salton Sea
The new oasis also provided some challenges.
Beyond the Palm Springs region, the Salton Sea has been in a constant state of decay for over half a century. A once promising vacation and residential getaway, environmental hazards and the stench of dead fish drove visitors away, leaving the 360-square-mile lake to rot. But as scientists and government officials struggle to contain the body of water’s salinity, receding shores and overall steady decline, Mother Nature provided a surprising oasis of life.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “Thousands of acres of exposed lake bed have become, of all things, the unintended beneficiaries of lush marshlands that are homes for endangered birds and fish at the outlets of agricultural and urban runoff that used to flow directly into the Salton Sea.
“These unmanaged flows, scientists say, are flushing salinity out of the soil and forming freshwater ponds on the lake’s margins, which are attracting cattails and grasses. They, in turn, are attracting insects, which are enticing federally endangered desert pupfish and birds such as the Yuma Ridgway’s rail.”
While many welcome the burst of life, preservationists also note potential challenges the new marshes pose to the lake’s 10-year restoration planned.
You can read about the marshlands and their impact, good and bad, on the Salton Sea here.
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The limestone caves had been closed to the public since 2011.