...The sea, which sees some 400 species of migratory birds pass through, was born from a civil engineering accident in 1905, which led to an overflowing of the Colorado River. It lies 71 meters above sea level, south of Joshua Tree National Park, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) southeast of Los Angeles.
...This former seaside resort today looks like a ghost town, its beach marred by an earth mound and scattered with the wrecks of cars and rusting metal of all sorts. From 1970, the Salton Sea began to shrink, leading to a surge in salinity and a reduction in depth which ended its days as a fishing and boating haven.
...To make matters worse, in 2017 a complex agreement which shares water from the Colorado River comes to an end, leading to an expected further decrease in water flowing into the Sea. Wilcox said the body of water will lose a third of its surface area in just a few years, while its bed of sand mixed with sediments of cadmium, phosphates, fertilizer and insecticides will spread further, carried by frequent storms.
...Cases of asthma, lung cancer and other respiratory conditions could surge in an area where they are already four times the national average. Not to mention the billions of dollars in agricultural revenues threatened, and real estate prices which risk collapsing.
"If the Sea dries up it's going to be inhabitable because of the dust here, throughout the whole Coachella Valley," said Randy Rynearson, the salt-and-pepper grizzled owner of an ironmonger's store in Salton City....