The Salton Sea is an incredible place. An enormous inland sea, created by accident when irrigation went hopelessly wrong. The Americans did their best to make good of the disaster, marketing the Salton Sea as a holiday destination – which worked for a while.
In the 1950s, stars flocked here, Frank Sinatra, the Marx Brothers and the Beach Boys all relaxed by the sea, and Sonny Bono (later the Mayor of Palm Springs) learned to waterski here. However, with a higher salinity level than the ocean, the sea is subject to algae blooms which starve the fish of oxygen, killing them. Avian botulism has wreaked havoc in the bird population.
In spite of all this, the sea is a magical place. Abandoned for the most part, Salton Sea’s residents struggle on, some fiercely protective of the Sea, others seeing it as a disaster that they’re stuck with.
Please click the link to view the Salton Sea panoramas and virtual tours.
Christopher Metzler and Jeff Springer’s excellent documentary “Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea” is definitely worth seeing to learn more about the area.