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Salton Sea - New Coordinator


Last updated 9/3/2015 at 9:33am

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Wednesday, Sept. 2 that he has named Bruce Wilcox, Assistant Secretary for Salton Sea policy at the California Natural Resources Agency. For the past few months Wilcox has been the interim assistant executive director at the Salton Sea Authority, and manager of environmental and Salton Sea programs at the Imperial Irrigation District since 2008, leading restoration efforts. The newly created position will see Wilcox coordinating many local, state and federal agencies working to limit the public health and ecological disasters facing the Salton Sea.

Experts have already acknowledged that the 350-square-mile lake is an environmental time bomb with water feeding the sea in decline, drying the lake and impacting fish, wildlife and birds. As well as creating health hazards to residents caused from dust blowing across the state. With the situation facing dire consequences after 2017, when a farm-to-city transfer program kicks into high gear, Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird said in a statement.

“This fall, under the leadership of Bruce Wilcox, the state of California will advance an effort with state, federal and local stakeholders to develop a comprehensive framework for Salton Sea management. The multi-agency effort’s goals will be to protect air quality, habitat and water supply reliability at the Salton Sea and in the region,” he said.

Michael Cohen of the Oakland-based Pacific Institute, an environmental research group, called Wilcox’s appointment “a huge step in the right direction” and an indication that the state is taking the status of the sea seriously. The next indicator will be whether the state funds the restoration effort in next year’s budget, he said, calling Wilcox “one of the most knowledgeable people about the Salton Sea’ and will be effective moving things forward”.

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