Salton Sea a Top Priority for Congressmen Vargas and Ruiz

Washington, DC - Congressmen Juan Vargas (CA-51) and Raul Ruiz (CA-36) sent a letter to President Obama urging him to include $1 million in funding for the Salton Sea Research Project in his Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Budget Request.  The two Representatives also joined Senator Barbara Boxer in co-hosting a briefing on the history, progress and future potential of the Salton Sea.

The Salton Sea is the largest inland body of water in the State of California and has faced steady ecological and economic deterioration over the past several decades.

“Improving the Salton Sea is of utmost importance to the region’s public health, economic development and environmental conservation.  Securing funding for research is essential to determining the most viable options for the Salton Sea,” said Rep. Vargas.  “I am excited to co-host a briefing with Senator Boxer and Rep. Ruiz, as it will shed light on the issues facing the Salton Sea and help identify the steps necessary for mitigating the health and environmental impacts associated with this important yet, rapidly diminishing lake.”

The Salton Sea is one of the few remaining large-scale wetland habitats in California for migratory birds and fish.  Tragically, it is faced with eroding water quality and diminished water supply. This results in periodic fish and bird deaths and exposes lakebed sediments which release wind-blown contaminants that pose human health risks.

"For far too long, the Salton Sea has posed immense health and environmental risks to families and children across Southern California," said Dr. Ruiz. "This forum will help put the Salton Sea crisis front and center for lawmakers, so we can move forward with pragmatic solutions and solve this pressing issue."

“I look forward to continuing to work with local, state and federal stakeholders to provide the necessary resources to stabilize the salinity levels, restore the wildlife and habitat, and explore the economic development opportunities,” concluded Rep. Vargas.

Additional information