Salton Sea

Audubon California Receives $500K from General Motors for Work on Salton Sea

“The Salton Sea is an enormous resource to California, to the western United States, and the entire Western Hemisphere.”

Salton Sea, Calif., Nov. 29, 2022)—Audubon California today announced that it is the recipient of a $500,000 grant from General Motors to help support its work restoring California’s beleaguered Salton Sea. Audubon will use the funds towards the design of public recreational access facilities at the 900-acre Bombay Beach wetland restoration site; to conduct research into the lake’s biofilm, or bacterial species; to assess its overall ecosystem health; and to engage local communities on the Sea and its future.

“The Salton Sea is an enormous resource to California, to the western United States, and the entire Western Hemisphere,” said Frank Ruiz, director of Audubon California’s Salton Sea Program. “That means more than just lithium extraction:  the Sea should provide recreational opportunities and badly needed access to the outdoors for residents of park-poor surrounding communities, as well as continue its role as a stopover of hemispheric importance to millions of migrating birds. We’re grateful to GM for this grant and its commitment to helping halt the Sea’s decline.”

The grant will help fund planning for infrastructure at Bombay Beach which will provide habitat for birds and threatened Desert Pupfish, control windblown dust off of exposed playa, or dry lakebed, and will provide educational features for visitors. The award will also help fund Audubon’s Salton Sea science staff, working together with local Audubon youth leaders, to take water and soil samples, survey bird populations, as well as other research, including the hiring of a local graduate student to conduct research on food availability for migratory shorebirds. In addition, Audubon will conduct outreach to and engage local residents on issues pertaining to the Sea.

“General Motors is proud to support Audubon’s work to help restore and improve wetlands around the Salton Sea,” said Terry Rhadigan, vice president of corporate giving at GM. “As we accelerate our plans for an all-electric future, we recognize the importance of supporting the Lithium Valley community and will continue to thoughtfully engage to ensure the region is accessible and sustainable for generations to come.”


Jason Howe,; 415-595-9245

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.

How you can help, right now