Comments on the Salton Sea Restoration Project

Comments on the
Salton Sea Restoration Project
and the
Salton Sea Restoration Project
Draft Environmental Impact
Statement
Environmental Impact Report

Overview

On May 15, 2000, the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security submitted the following comments on the Salton Sea Restoration Project and on the January 2000 draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (DEIS) and supporting documents. The Pacific Institute is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit center in Oakland, California, created in 1987 to conduct research and policy analysis in the areas of environment, sustainable development, and international security. The Institute has actively participated in the development of the Restoration Project for more than two years, via formal scoping comments and through informal discussions and workshops, as well as the Institute’s 1999 report, Haven or Hazard: the Ecology and Future of the Salton Sea.

The Pacific Institute welcomes the federal and state efforts to improve the ecological health of the Salton Sea ecosystem. The Salton Sea provides a host of ecological values that are important not only within the Imperial and Coachella valleys but also throughout the historic reach of the Colorado River delta and the length of the Pacific Flyway. The extent and magnitude of these values merits a state and federal level intervention. Significant economic and recreational benefits would likely accrue in the region only if the ecosystems in and around the Sea were returned to a healthy condition.

The Salton Sea Restoration Project has progressed in many respects over the past two years. The funding of scientific research and the integration of this research into the process has benefited the Project, and the understanding of the Sea, tremendously. The Pacific Institute supports the on-going research proposed under the auspices of the Strategic Science Plan. Deferring the construction of large-scale infrastructure fixes until Phase II is also a positive step, allowing for the opportunity to better understand the impacts of such actions. […]

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