Experts, State Officials and Stakeholders to Gather to Plot Future of Salton Sea

Swift action urged to avert environmental, public health disaster.

PALM DESERT, Calif.—Some 250 researchers, state officials, representatives of environmental, tribal and community groups, and water policy leaders will meet in Palm Desert October 17-18 to discuss issues facing the Salton Sea as well as stalled projects to curb toxic dust resulting from evaporation, restore wildlife habitat and make California’s largest lake a resource for surrounding communities.  Sponsoring organizations include Alianza, Audubon California, Environmental Defense Fund, Pacific Institute, Sierra Club and UC Riverside.

A two-day symposium on the current state of the Sea and plans for its restoration, including a press briefing.

Press briefing:
Wade Crowfoot, California Secretary for Natural Resources
Tina Shields, Water Department Manager, Imperial Irrigation District
Frank Ruiz, Salton Sea Project Director, Audubon California
Joseph Mirelez, Vice Chair, Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians Tribal Council
Sahara Huazano, Director of Capacity Development, Alianza
María Gallardo, Community Resident

Symposium: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., October 17 and 8:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m., October 18, 2019
Press briefing:
11:30 a.m. Thursday, October 17
Community Engagement Forum:
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., October 17
Rooms B118-B120
UCR Palm Desert 
75080 Frank Sinatra Drive
Palm Desert, CA 92211  

With an estimated surface area of 350 square miles, the Salton Sea is by far California’s largest lake, as well as a vital stop for migrating birds along the Pacific Flyway. Threatened by contaminated runoff and reduced inflow from changing water-usage patterns, the Sea is degrading rapidly, exposing airborne dust from the dry lakebed that endangers the health of the 650,000 residents who live in the immediate area. Plans and initial funding are in place to restore portions of the Sea and mitigate the health effects of airborne contaminants, but progress has been slow.

Jason Howe,; 415-595-9245

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About Audubon
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.

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