Professor Timothy J. Bradley (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) and Professor David L. Feldman (from the School of Social Ecology) have recently written an opinion letter warning of the potential public health threats posed by the current legislation governing the Salton Sea. The opinion was featured in The Sacramento Bee and focused on the environmental impact that may occur in 2018 once the sea’s major source of water is diverted.
The Salton Sea has been slowly drying up in recent years, however, the remaining major source of water for the sea is scheduled to be diverted January 2018. As a result, miles of dry lake bed will expose a source of microscopic toxic dust composed of heavy metals and agricultural chemicals. Heavy winds that commonly hit the region could spread the toxins to people living in the Coachella and Imperial Valley. The Pacific Institute has warned that the effects to public health in those areas could cost more than $29 billion. Professors Bradley and Feldman are calling upon the members of the State Water Resources Control Board and the Air Resources Board to change their current policy in order to protect the health and well-being of the local population.
To read the entire opinion, click here.