Boxer Introduces Bill To Save Salton Sea
Local and Federal Officials and Environmentalists Hail Bill as Important Step Forward
Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today introduced legislation to restore the troubled Salton Sea.
The Salton Sea is a unique natural resource in Southern California. Created in 1905 by a breach in a levee along the Colorado River, the Salton Sea is California's largest inland body of water, at 378 square miles, and it is one of the most important habitats for migratory birds along the Pacific Flyway.
Since there is no natural outlet for the sea at its current level, all the salts carried with water that flows into the sea have remained there. Salinity is currently more than 25 percent higher than ocean water, and rising. Over the past five years, this high salinity combined with unchecked pollution concentrations has led to massive fish kills and the decimation of the migratory waterfowl that utilize the Salton Sea.
"My legislation is a consensus approach toward restoring the unique Salton Sea ecosystem," Boxer said. "Over the years, scientists, communities and politicians alike have been trying to draw national attention to the decline of the Salton Sea. Our late friend and colleague, Representative Sonny Bono, worked tirelessly to make this issue an environmental priority for this Congress. With this legislation, we can carry on that legacy."
Boxer explained, "My legislation does three things. First, it requires the Department of Interior to review all options for restoring the sea and then, recommend one preferred option at the end of one year. Second, it gives adequate time, an additional 6 months if necessary, for environmental compliance review and public hearings as required by law. And third, it triggers an automatic authorization of $300 million as recommended in the House bill on the Salton Sea introduced earlier this year."
"I am proud of the broad support for my bill and am hopeful that my House and Senate colleagues can act quickly to ensure passage of this legislation to restore the ailing Salton Sea," Boxer said. "This is necessary and important legislation that will not only benefit Californians and our environmental heritage, but also carry on the legacy of Representative Bono."
N.B. Boxer's bill has received the praise of national and local authorities, community leaders and environmentalists. The following is a list with their comments.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SENATOR BOXER'S SALTON SEA BILL
Interior Secretary Bruce
Tellis Codekas, President
of the Salton Sea Authority and Coachella Valley Water
Tom Kirk, Director of the
Salton Sea Authority
Imperial County Supervisor,
Imperial County Supervisor,
Supervisor Roy Wilson
District, General Manager Michael Clinton
National Audubon Society,
President John Flicker