Washington, DC - Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51) and  Dr. Raul Ruiz (CA-36) are sending a letter to President Barack Obama this week requesting funding for Salton Sea restoration. The funding includes $1 million for the Salton Sea Research Project, through the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, and $200,000 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ investigation request for restoration projects in the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget request.

“The restoration of the Salton Sea is of crucial importance to my district, and the Southern California region in general” said Vargas. “The declining conditions of the Salton Sea, present serious health, environmental, and economic concerns to the surrounding communities. Addressing these issues is a priority for the people of Imperial County, and it is something I will continue to work for as I begin serving my second term in Congress.”

The funding would include $1 million for the Bureau of Reclamation that would build on the existing $300,000 to support projects to improve the water quality coming into the Salton Sea. The additional $200,000 for the Army Corp of Engineers would make use of an existing 2007 Water Resources Development Act authorization to identify preliminary pilot projects for rehabilitation along the southern portion of the sea.

“The Salton Sea is still a priority. Deteriorating conditions have made the Salton Sea a serious public health threat to families in the Coachella Valley and all of Sothern California,” said Dr. Ruiz. “The resulting poor air and water quality on the health of our children and seniors will only intensify as the Sea recedes if we don’t act now. This funding would allow for bold steps to be taken to mitigate public health threats from the Salton Sea through endeavors like the Red Hill Bay project."