The Salton Sea is both beautiful and tragic.
This is not a natural body of water. It is a man-made engineering failure of epic proportions.
The Salton Sea is located below sea level in south eastern California directly on top of the San Andreas fault line. In 1900 irrigation canals were constructed to bring water from the Colorado River to the desert. A little water would have been nice, but ….. they got much more than a little water. 350+ square miles flooded.
Then developers came in looking to make money from this new water paradise in the desert. This worked for a number of years until it once again became obvious that the unnatural, man created flooding of this area is not what nature intended.
The lack of drainage means that runoff, including fertilizers, collect in the sea. The salinity has risen so that this “fresh water” is now saltier than the ocean. Species of fish have died off. Bacteria levels are elevated. This impacts the fish, birds, plants and everything else that is interconnected.
What appears to be a beautiful white sand beach from a distance is very different up close. The “white sand” is actually bits and pieces of dead fish. Normally, when I’m near water I want to jump in or at least get my toes wet – not so at The Salton Sea.
The Salton Sea is beautiful, but it is also a stark reminder that bad things happen when humans mess with the earth’s natural balance.