COACHELLA – Riverside County and the Coachella Valley Water District are slated to work with the state in developing a plan to restore the Salton Sea, following Gov. Jerry Brown’s announcement today that he has signed a bill authored by Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez, D-Coachella.
The new law is geared toward replacing the Salton Sea Restoration Council, which Brown disbanded in 2012. Riverside County and the local irrigation district are among the five entities comprising the Salton Sea Authority.
The new law set up the Authority to work with the state’s Natural Resources Agency in coming up with what Perez’s office calls a ”realistic restoration plan for the Sea.” It authorizes the Authority to consult with the California Natural Resources Agency to explore ways to fund a restoration project on a long-term basis.
Perez stressed that the law will give local stakeholders more say in how the Salton Sea will be revitalized.
”Our Salton Sea governance proposal ensures local participation in Salton Sea restoration and assures funding for a feasibility study that will help to identify fundable restoration alternatives,” Perez said in a statement. ”This approach won broad consensus among stakeholders last year.”
Declining water levels, increased salinity and pesticide-laden runoff from agricultural fields are combining to threaten the Salton Sea, which is temporary home to millions of migrating birds each year.
Along with Riverside County and the Coachella Valley Water District, the Salton Sea Authority will include Imperial County, the Imperial Irrigation District and the Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians, who have a reservation along the sea.