Amid Salton Sea Wasteland, A Miraculous But Challenging Oasis Is Born

“It came as a bittersweet surprise to biologists and government agencies monitoring the steadily shrinking Salton Sea’s slide toward death by choking dust storms and salt.

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.”

Louis Sahagun reports for the Los Angeles Times December 9, 2019.