A post-apocalyptic scene

There are a few places that I have to just visit for no good reason. Call it a sort of train wreck syndrome. The Salton Sea in southern California has been a place that has a very interesting, sad history but the story is not well enough known in my opinion. Through a bit of an engineering screw up in the early 1900's, irrigation channels sourced by the Colorado River overflowed into a below sea level spot in the Colorado Desert and the Salton sea was born. It is California's largest lake and with no consistent outflow the salinity levels are above those of Pacific Ocean and slightly below those of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. There have been many attempts to commercialize, equalize, normalize, modernize and monetize the Sea but today it still is a literal and metaphorical low spot in California's natural resource management. Today, the shores are semi-sandy berms of small saltwater shellfish carapaces and tilapia skeletons. The buildings along the eastern shore are crumbling memories of a Palm Springs waterside type oasis slowly reclaimed piece by piece by nature with each passing year. The area is surrounded by incredibly productive agricultural enterprises and surprisingly healthy avian and mammalian wildlife. not to mention the fact that all this exists within 150 miles of 3 major US cities. All that being said, why the intrigue? No clue. I have seen some very interesting and visually stunning cultural decay images by Troy Pavia (see them at lostamerica.com). There is somewhat of a counter culture that surrounds the Sea and maybe the curiosity of what continues to draw people here is an unanswered question that I have. None the less, the Salton Sea is a place that is a natural resource dumpster fire that is surrounded by so much potential. I just hope that whatever the people of California decide to do with this area, and yes they must do something, inaction is what created much of this mess and ever letting the area go back to its natural state will require significant intervention. Let hope they get it right.

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