Salton Sea


After crossing Anza-Borrego State Park, I arrived to Salton Sea, one of the weirdest place I have seen.

It was the end of May and already over 100 deg. The roads are empty. Desolation and abandoned buildings, houses and gas stations. Something happened here ! The “towns” are trailers-parks from the 50s, along beaches long gone. The smell is putrid from the salt and dead fish, but you can see wild birds and fish swimming on the “sea”. It’s a very sad place, but a few humans and some birds continue to struggle there. There are a lot of stories about Salton Sea, that’s an ‘ecological disaster’ or a ‘wildlife refuge’, a polluted zone or ecological resource. You can read:

Wikipedia: “The Salton Sea is an inland saline lake, occupying the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink, part of the larger Colorado Desert in Southern California, USA, north of the Imperial Valley. The lake covers a surface area of approximately 376 square miles (974 km²), the largest in California. […] The creation of the Salton Sea of today started in 1905, when heavy rainfall and snowmelt caused the Colorado River to swell and breach an Imperial Valley dike. It took nearly two years to control the Colorado River’s flow into the formerly dry Salton Sink and stop the flooding. As the basin filled, the town of Salton, a Southern Pacific Railroad siding and Torres-Martinez Indian land were submerged. The sudden influx of water and the lack of any drainage from the basin resulted in the formation of the Salton Sea.”

The Salton Sea Authority: “One of the attractions of the Sea is the abundance of life, manifested in the hundreds of species of birds that reside in, or visit, this important wetland habitat, and the fish that inhabit the waters. That is why some scientists have called the Salton Sea “California’s crown jewel of avian biodiversity” and perhaps was the most productive fishery in the world.”

The Salton Sea Documentary ‘Plagues and Pleasures’: “Once known as the California Riviera, the Salton Sea is now called one of Americas worst ecological disasters: a fetid, stagnant, salty lake, coughing up dead fish and birds by the thousands. Yet a few hardy eccentrics hang on to hope, including a roadside nudist waving at passing European tourists, a man building a religious mountain out of mud and paint, beer-loving Hungarian Revolutionary Hunky Daddy, and the real-estate Ronald McDonald known simply as The Landman. Through their perceptions and misperceptions, the strange history and unexpected beauty of the Salton Sea is revealed.”

Now, the pictures…