Engagement Committee to Meet November 21 in Coachella

Salton Sea Management Program Update — November 18, 2019

Also: RFP Released for Species Conservation Habitat Project;  Plans Underway for Public Meetings on Dust Suppression Projects; New Website Coming Soon

The next meeting of the Salton Sea Management Program’s Engagement Committee is set for 10 a.m. to noon November 21 at the City of Coachella Council Chambers, 1515 Sixth Street, Coachella.

Agenda items include an update on the state’s efforts to advance the SSMP and a proposed schedule for public meetings later this year on dust suppression projects. The committee also will discuss and receive feedback on a draft plan to engage local communities in the planning and implementation of the SSMP.

The Engagement Committee is co-chaired by Rebecca Terrazas-Baxter, intergovernmental relations director for Imperial County, and Silvia Paz, executive director of Alianza Coachella Valley.

The agenda and meeting materials are available on the California Natural Resources Agency’s website.

RFP Released for Species Conservation Habitat Project

The Department of Water Resources has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a design-build contractor for the Species Conservation Habitat (SCH) project. The 3,770-acre project will suppress dust while creating habitat for endangered migratory birds at the receding sea.

The project is aimed at preventing further degradation of air quality and habitat and will anchor phase one of the state’s Salton Sea Management Program, which focuses on constructing dust suppression and habitat projects to cover 30,000 acres of exposed playa.

The release of the RFP to a short list of qualified firms marks a significant milestone in the state’s commitment to implement the SSMP. Since January, state agencies worked with the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) to complete site access and water supply agreements that allow for the SCH to move forward. These agreements will serve as a template for future projects at the Sea.

Proposals for the SCH project are due May 1. A design-build contractor for the SCH project will be selected this coming summer, and the project will break ground shortly thereafter. The state has committed up to $206 million for the project, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2023.

Plans Underway for Public Meetings on Dust Suppression Projects

State agencies plan to hold public meetings to provide an overview of upcoming dust suppression projects and receive community input. As part of the Salton Sea Management Program, state agencies intend to implement nearly 15,000 acres of dust suppression projects on emissive areas around the sea.

The immediate focus is a pilot project along Bruchard Road that will test the effectiveness of tilling furrows on an approximately 150-200 acre site located at the southern end of the Sea. The state team also is evaluating sites for 9,000 acres of dust suppression at several locations determined by soil emissivity, prevailing wind patterns and air quality threat to populated areas. Initial areas have been identified based on air quality information from the California Air Resources Board and Imperial Irrigation District. Community input will be used to help refine plans for future projects.

New Website Coming Soon

As part of its effort to improve communication and transparency, the state team is creating a new comprehensive state website to provide a single, one-stop-shop for the public to find information on Salton Sea Management Program projects, activities and opportunities to provide input. Watch for an announcement in the coming weeks.

The state team also will use this eNewsletter to provide updates on a regular basis.


Know someone who would like to receive Salton Sea Community Updates? They can email their request to saltonsea@cnra.ca.gov.