Salton Sea Wins $14 million Grant
Last updated 11/21/2016 at 3:29pm
The California Wildlife Conservation Board has awarded $14 million for Salton Sea wetland habitat restoration to sustain migrating birds and the fish they eat there, state officials announced Thursday, Nov. 17.
The grant of voter-approved bond funds will be used by the California Department of Water Resources to build about 640 acres of wetlands near the spot where the New River flows into the super-saline lake northwest of Westmorland, California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird said in a news release.
“This new grant will help us build habitat that protects the bird populations at the Salton Sea,” Laird said in a statement.
Through marsh draining in Los Angeles, the majority of habitat has been lost. The restoration will be designed to improve habitat for birds such as pelicans and cormorants that are traveling the Pacific Flyway and to support tilapia, the lake’s dominant fish and a crucial food source for fish-eating birds there.
Tilapia, which are not California natives, were introduced as game fish because they could live in a lake saltier than the ocean, however experts say that even they might not survive if the Salton Sea’s salinity increases – which could impact the health of wide-ranging bird populations.