“Today, fifty years after the Department of Fish and Game first predicted its death, it is by all measures of saline, rotting fish, and dying communities unreasonable to even consider “Saving the Sea.” The question now is do we want to restore the Sea, and if so, to what condition will we restore it?” The Accidental Sea, Part 3: Let’s Go Fishing”
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The first time I saw signs around Salton City saying “Save Our Sea” I thought “These people are nuts!”
They may not be so crazy after all. Here’s why.
Much Of California Is A Desert
Victor Davis Hanson is a fourth-generation Californian who lives in the Central Valley on the family raisin farm homesteaded by his great-grandmother in 1875. His recent article in City Journal, California’s Water Wars (http://www.city-journal.org/2011/21_3_california-water.html) describes the “brilliant hydrological engineering of past generations of Californians.” While VDH is talking about the Central Valley we’ve seen some of that ingenuity in the Imperial Valley, including the All American Canal. In order to live in the parts of California that do not naturally have water access we have to build, plant, and access water that does exist. Turning the desert into a green, livable area is not a bad thing, nor is it a new idea.
The idea of replenishing the Salton Sea with ocean water is generally accepted as the only solution to the problem with merit; the other alternative is to reroute fresh water from the Colorado River. One individual, Fred Dungan details the merits of this idea here: http://www.fdungan.com/salton.htm. (Note of caution: Mr. Dungan likes to rant; do not let this cloud what he has to say about this topic that is worthy.)
The Benefits Might Outweigh The Cost
Building a canal from Baja California through Mexico and into the United States would cost billions of dollars. The idea is not new, and the benefits could outweigh the cost if we consider additional farmland, homes, and businesses that could operate profitably near a body of water that wasn’t filled with toxic waste and rotting fish. Because the State of California is bankrupt with little hope of solvency the only idea that does not have merit is asking the citizens of California to pay for the restoration of the Sea.
What Will Success Look Like?
What Will It Take?
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It’s taken two years for me to change my mind about the insanity of the idea of “Save The Sea.” Maybe it won’t take you so long.