Sunday, January 14, 2007

Jan. 14th, 2007 the Salton Sea

Today we brought lunch and when to the Salton Sea. Not only we saw the sea but we saw the agriculture of the area. The agriculture is all around irrigation. We saw date palms, wine grapes, oranges, limes, lemons and Shaylene’s favorite, onions.

The geological history of this area is as follows. “Where was a fresh water lake in this area up until 500 years ago. Then, the Colorado River shifted south into the Gulf and the lake began to dry up. As it dried, great salt deposits became visible.
In the mid-1800s, the lake was nearly dry, and miners came for the salt. Farmers discovered that the nearby soil was amazingly fertile, and set about planting and creating new irrigation canals. These canals brought the water from the Colorado River.
In 1905, a huge flood poured down the Colorado and crashed through the canal barriers. Water rushed downhill into the empty sea, and was flowing for 16 months before men could stop it. A new lake, 45 miles long and 20 miles wide had been formed!
Today, the sea is kept afloat by agricultural drainage, rivers, creeks, and storm runoff. On some days, up to four million birds visit the sea at one time, and the sport fishing is always rewarding. There are a few problems, however. Because more water evaporates than comes in each year, the sea is shrinking. And as fresh water evaporates, the Sea’s waters are becoming saltier and saltier. Finding a way to balance the Sea’s Mineral and water levels is the key to a health future.”
We also found out that 2, 100 year, tropical storms hit this area in the early 70’s and added about 20 feet of water to the Salton Sea. This water flooded all the hotels and beaches ruining the tourist trade. Now the water level is back to normal.

P.S. The beach is feet and feet of sea shells.

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