Additional funding pledged to restore the Salton Sea

The Bureau of Reclamation recently announced an additional $72 million investment in restoring the Salton Sea.

The latest round of funding comes from the Administration’s Investing in America agenda to expedite implementation of California’s 10-year Salton Sea Management Plan by accelerating dust suppression, aquatic-restoration, and water conservation efforts needed to protect the important wildlife habitats and the surrounding communities.

Acting Deputy Secretary of the Interior Laura Daniel-Davis and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton announced the agreements during an event with leaders from the California Natural Resources Agency, Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians and other members of the Salton Sea Coordinating Committee.

“This funding is a critical step in our collective efforts to address the challenges at the Salton Sea and our important partnership with the State of California, the Imperial Irrigation District and the Coachella Valley Water District,” said Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. “As we look to conserve critical water supplies in the Colorado River, we are united in our desire to preserve the Salton Sea, not only as a vital link in the Pacific Flyway but also as a valuable resource for the people of Southern California, in protecting their health, and in protecting the regional economy.”

Today’s agreements, funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, include:

  • $70 million to the state of California to fund expansion of the Species Conservation Habitat Project, which will create up to 7,000 acres of aquatic habitat for wildlife and cover exposed lakebed.
  • $2 million to the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians over five years to expand the Tribe’s technical capacity by funding positions entrusted with supporting Salton Sea project implementation.

An additional $178 million of funding will be made available upon the implementation of voluntary conservation actions by the Imperial Irrigation District and Coachella Valley Water District under the Lower Basin System Conservation and Efficiency Program.

The Inflation Reduction Act investment complements the $583 million in state funding committed to date for Salton Sea projects.

Approximately 60 miles from Palm Springs, California, the Salton Sea has suffered from declining inflows of water in recent years because of the impacts of climate change, including reduced agricultural runoff. The exposed lakebed is contributing to dust emissions in the surrounding environment, and declining water levels have reduced important wildlife habitat.

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