Sunday, October 2, 2016

Breaking Point

-from the Head Curator
Christian Schoneman & Bruce Wilcox at IVDM Breaking Point screening
Fall has arrived and with it the beginning of a new season of events at the Desert Museum!  We kicked off the new season with the screening of a fascinating new documentary on the Salton Sea: Breaking Point.  This 2015 award-winning documentary has some of the newest information on the current status of the Salton Sea, as well as some of the possible plans for its future.

What's a movie without popcorn?
 If you follow us on FaceBook or Twitter, are a member, or are on our email list, you saw that because of the expected popularity of the documentary, we held two screenings: Saturday September 24 and Saturday October 1.  Over 50 people attended the events.  They were joined by Terry Weiner, Imperial County Projects and Conservation Coordinator for the Desert ProtectiveCouncil who sponsored the event; Christian Schoneman, Project Leader at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Complex; and Bruce Wilcox, Assistant Secretary for the California Resources Agency.  After watching Breaking Point people were able to talk with Schoneman and Wilcox, and ask questions about the present and future of the Sea and plans for its restoration. Great questions were asked and the discussions were full of interesting information. “There are reasons to be positive” Schoneman said. “There is progress being made.”

Progress has come in many forms.  In this year’s state budget, $80.5 million have been allocated to fund designs and construction of habitats around the edges of the Sea- more than California has ever allocated to the Salton Sea before.  In a speech at Lake Tahoe at the beginning of September, President Obama unveiled plans for the federal government to commit $30 million over the next decade to support Salton Sea restoration efforts.  This is the first time the federal government has signed on to financially support specific Salton Sea management actions.  The first shovels have already begun to work on the Red Hill Bay RestorationProject.  This restoration effort will cover 420 acres of exposed shoreline with water on the south side of the sea, near Calipatria.  If it is successful, the project will be repeated in other places along the shore.  The $3.5 million project will build shallow wetland  terraces, with diverted Salton Sea water and agricultural runoff from the Alamo River to create new habitats along the Red Hill Bay shoreline.

We will keep everyone as updated as possible on the plans moving forward for the Salton Sea. Follow us on FaceBook and Twitter, send us an email to get on our mailing list, or go to our website to find out about becoming a member and be the first to hear about exciting upcoming events!

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