Register Saturday | July 13 | 2024

Photo Project: Desert Shores (Lost America)

Salton Sea is a large salt lake located on the San Andreas Fault in southwestern California, in an arid depression 227 feet below sea level. It was accidentally created at the beginning of the last century when the Colorado River overflowed its banks. A very popular tourist attraction in the 1950s and 1960s, it was a paradise for fishing aficionados, its shores dotted with hotels, marinas and yacht clubs. The area boomed, with significant economic and population growth.

As the 1970s approached, people began noticing that the lake’s water level was dropping and its salinity rising. The mirage of the lake gradually faded; it was replaced by no-man’s-lands and ghost towns. Today, the surrounding area is deserted, the water saturated with fertilizers and pesticides and the fish decimated by algae blooms. Beachside resorts have given way to trailer parks housing the poor and the marginalized, including many Mexican ...

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