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We're headed down there this morning.  One more try for the (yes, I know the
Yellow-footed Gull is more likely in summer, but so is 120 in the none-existant
shade, and I am here now).

Sea was formed in 1905 by Colorado River cutting through during canal diversion
project (took 18 months to close gap).  It only partially filled an ancient
seabed--still is now about 15 miles wide, 35 long.  Entire Salton Sea and much
of surrounding area is below sea level.

The All-American Canal was built to keep all the flow in the U.S.  The original
canal goes into Mexico, then back into the U.S.  Control....

Tijuana effluvia does not enter the Salton Sea.  It is on the Tijuana River, and
it flows into the Pacific (neat boundary marker, but park closed).

There is no outlet for the Salton Sea.  Two "rivers" (canals) flow into it,
bringing salt-laden agricultural run-off from the Colorado River water diverted
into the Imperial Valley.  The Colorado now runs dry before it reaches its mouth
in Mexico.

Big controversy out here with people claiming Mexico owes us water--yet we have
taken away the flow of a major river!

Imperial Valley produces vegetables (onions and cabbage family big right now),
strawberries, and beaucoup alfalfa--massive dairy operations done as
feedlot-type set-ups, so some of the smell is not from the sea.

Remember the Rat Pack?  Members invested in and were often seen in the '60s
around Salton City (undeveloped boondoggle Bob mentioned).  Fluctuations of the
sea (it rose and flooded the yacht club) and then the beginning of the great
smell doomed the development.  There are about 30 homes/mobile homes there
now--Often find roadrunners (yes, I do know what they look like) on the roofs
chasing geckos.

The smell is a result of the soup of irrigation run-off, dying birds (the
botulism--a phenomenon of many western bird gathering places), dying
fish--salinity now so high that only 2 of the introduced species survive,
and other stuff (but not sewage).

There are lots of plans to "revive" the sea.  More on that another time.  The
national wildlife refuge has been renamed to:  Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR.

Mike, have a great time and see the gull!

Edge Wade
Escondido CA
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