Rep[resentative] Mary Bono
Chair, [Congressional] Salton Sea Task Force
Letters To The Editor, The Los Angeles Times, June 25, 1998
Re Ivan Colburn's June 18 commentary: Contrary to his assertion, the Salton Sea is not dead. It is an ecological system in a state of advanced decline. However, according to many scientific studies, the sea can be restored.
This issue is of great concern to residents of the region. Allowing the sea to die will result in a devastating dust-pollution problem that will inflict severe economic and public health impacts on the people of the Coachella and Imperial valleys.
Perhaps the most compelling reason to save the Salton Sea is to protect the many species that rely on the sea as their habitat. The Salton Sea is an indispensable stopover for birds on the Pacific Flyway. More than 380 species of birds have been recorded at the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, the largest number of species found on any national wildlife refuge in the western U.S.
Our task force challenges any reputable environmental organization to visit the Salton Sea and then publicly advocate allowing the sea to die. The scientific and environmental communities must continue to work together with the responsible agencies to forge a consensus solution. The time has come to resolve the looming environmental crisis threatening one of our nation's truly unique ecosystems.
[See letter on the same topic by Stuart Hurlbert.]