SSMP Project Updates

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August 2022 – Bringing you timely and concise updates on the Salton Sea Management Program

Species Conservation Habitat Project is Now 60% Complete

Structure at the Species Conservation Habitat Project

Construction of the Saline Pump Station at the end of the Causeway is ongoing.​

Major construction activities continue full steam ahead at the SSMP’s 4,100-acre Species Conservation Habitat (SCH) Project which is located at the southern end of the Salton Sea. The SCH project is the state’s first large-scale habitat restoration project that will create a network of ponds and provide important fish and bird habitat while also suppressing dust emissions to protect regional air quality.

Even as work continues, endangered desert pupfish and a broad range of bird species already are actively using the new habitat created with completion of the interception ditch last year.

The following are key recent accomplishments:

  • Project design has been completed and construction is 60% complete.
  • All perimeter berms of the habitat ponds are 90% complete.
  • Bird nesting and loafing Islands are 75% complete.
  • Work on the saline intake, northern berm, and New River intake are ongoing.

The project is on schedule and is expected to be completed in 2023

Forward Progress Continues on the Vegetation Enhancement Projects at the Salton Sea

Plant at Project Site

This Iodine Bush seedling was planted last spring at the Clubhouse site. Iodine Bush is one of several plant species being planted to establish native desert vegetation communities.

In partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the SSMP continues work on the three vegetation enhancement projects near communities around the Salton Sea. The projects cover approximately 1,700 acres and are located near the communities of Salton City and Bombay Beach. The projects aim to establish and enhance native vegetation on the exposed lakebed to create habitat for desert wildlife and reduce wind-blown dust.

These projects consist of initial physical site modification through placement of grass bales or construction of swales and berms to protect and facilitate plant growth and improve plant survival rates followed by seeding and/or planting of native vegetation. Three vegetation establishment methods will be used including natural recruitment, seeding, and planting.

Construction began in 2021 and initial bale placement and site modifications has been completed at the Clubhouse and West Bombay Beach sites. In addition, planting and seeding on approximately 35 acres was completed last spring at the Clubhouse site. Work at the Tule Wash project site began in July 2022. Planting and seeding are scheduled to restart this fall as the weather cools and will continue until vegetation communities are established across all three sites.

Upcoming SSMP Engagement Opportunities and Events

The SSMP continues to prioritize community involvement and meaningful community engagement in all its projects and processes. The team is coordinating public events to further inform the community about projects around the Salton Sea, transparency in plan development, as well as to create spaces for community members to familiarize themselves with the various processes that are part of the overall SSMP. Links to the meetings and other materials are uploaded to the SSMP website at

The SSMP team kindly invites you to join us in the upcoming engagement opportunities:

  • August 23, 2:30 p.m. Community Engagement Committee Meeting – Join Meeting
  • September 1, 5:30 p.m. SSMP Long Range Plan Community Workshop- Join Meeting
  • September 7, 9:30 a.m. Long-Range Plan Committee Meeting – Join Meeting

 Salton Sea Independent Review Panel’s Status Update Meeting Set for September 30

The Independent Review Panel studying water importation concepts to restore California’s Salton Sea will be hosting a virtual public meeting on  Friday, September 30. This meeting will present the results of the Feasibility Analysis and the Summary Report. Please be on the lookout for additional meeting information and documents.