Aug 4, 200610:33 AMThe Life
Let's NOT save the Salton Sea
Aug 4, 2006 - 10:33 AMThe Salton Sea's annual tilapia die-off is killing millions of fish.
If cleanup measures are not implemented properly, we may have another bird die-off, too.
Background: the Salton Sea is just the latest incarnation of a body of water which has appeared and disappeared repeatedly in the past few millennia:
Filling of Lake Cahuilla occurred several times during the Holocene, and each time the filling was the result of natural diversion of the Colorado River from its delta in the Gulf of California to the, below-sea-level Salton Trough. It is estimated that at present discharge levels it would take three years for the full flow of the Colorado River to fill the area of Lake Cahuilla. Once filled, the lake would overflow its natural levee to the south, allowing the Colorado to reestablish its flow into the Gulf of California. Eventually the river would bypass the lake completely by building a new levee. With the lake cutoff from recharge, it would gradually dry up.
During the last hundred years, human beings have interfered with this natural cycle, spending millions of dollars to introduce dams, levees, and African fish. We refuse to let the Salton Sea evaporate, like it's trying to do.
Millions of tilapia have already died for our sins, and they're again giving us their annual wake-up call. Is it time to heed Mother Nature and stop saving the Salton Sea?