SSMP Milestones

Draft Salton Sea Long-Range Plan Released

for Public Comment

Salton Sea Long-Range Plan ImageThe Salton Sea Management Program (SSMP) has posted its Draft Salton Sea Long-Range Plan for public review and comment.Developed with support from Tribal leadership, community-based organizations, and local, state, and federal agencies, the draft plan identifies concepts for long-term restoration of the Sea beyond the scope of the SSMP’s Phase 1: 10-Year Plan.

The goal of the plan is to protect or improve air quality, water quality, and wildlife habitat to prevent or reduce health and environmental consequences anticipated from the long-term recession of the Salton Sea.

A Spanish version of the draft plan will be available in early January on the SSMP website. The posting of the Spanish version will begin a 45-day comment period. Comments may be sent via email to, or via regular mail to the California Natural Resources Agency, Attn: Salton Sea Long-Range Plan Review, 715 P Street, 20th Floor Sacramento, CA 95814.

Once the plan is finalized, the long-range planning effort will transition to an environmental review process led by a federal partnering agency. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will undertake this process in partnership with the Salton Sea Management Program and the Salton Sea Authority through the Imperial Streams Salton Sea and Tributaries Feasibility Study.

In the future, there will continue to be multiple opportunities to provide comments and input to shape and enhance the plan for future actions at the Sea. A Public Scoping period will provide opportunities for tribes, community members, responsible agencies, regional public agencies, and interested parties to comment on: locations, capacities, and operations of new structures and facilities to evaluate in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS); alternatives to evaluate in the EIR/EIS; impacts and mitigation to evaluate in the EIR/EIS; and other issues that the lead agency should consider for the EIR/EIS.

The Long-Range Plan is being developed as a second phase beyond the Phase 1: 10-year Plan projects that aim to improve conditions by constructing 30,000 acres of habitat and dust suppression projects by the year 2028, which will establish at least 14,900 acres of aquatic habitat, with the purpose of suppressing dust emissions and improving ecological conditions at the Salton Sea.

Local, State and Federal Agencies to Partner in Feasibility Study for Long-Term Restoration of the Salton Sea

Firmantes de un Acuerdo de Costos Compartidos

Signatories of a Cost-Share Agreement: G. Patrick O’Dowd, Executive Director/ General Manager, Salton Sea Authority (Left); Col. Julie Balten, Commander, Los Angeles District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (center); Cindy Messer, Lead Deputy Director, California Department of Water Resources (Right).


The Salton Sea Management Program, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District and the Salton Sea Authority have signed an agreement launching a study aimed at identifying projects and actions for the long-term restoration of the Salton Sea. A Cost-Share Agreement was signed at a recent ceremony at the North Shore Yacht Club in Mecca on December 16.

The Corps has received funding to initiate and complete the Imperial Streams Salton Sea and Tributaries Feasibility Study, which will investigate and recommend projects and/or actions to contribute to improved public health and potential environmental restoration opportunities for communities around the Salton Sea.

The study will build on the Salton Sea Management Program’s Long-Range Plan document, released as a draft for public comment on December 15. The cost-share agreement brings together a diverse set of skills and experience from the three agencies and creates a framework for working collaboratively. Additionally, the agreement could potentially lead to significant additional investments for the long-term restoration of the Salton Sea.

Salton Sea Monitoring Implementation Plan Completed

Salton Sea Monitoring Implementation Plan Cover ImageDeveloped in collaboration with the SSMP Science Committee, the Monitoring Implementation Plan (MIP) is a regional-scale monitoring plan for the Salton Sea ecosystem. It describes monitoring activities to measure conditions of water, air quality, land cover, biological resources, and socioeconomics. The MIP provides a framework for future project-scale monitoring plans and identifies and prioritizes filling of existing data gaps. It also promotes practices to best store, manage, and make monitoring data publicly available in a timely manner.

Working groups were formed to provide input and review of early drafts of the MIP in July-August 2021. Invited members to these working groups included key Salton Sea experts and stakeholders in several resource areas: hydrology and water quality; air quality and geography (land cover); biological resources; socioeconomics; and data management. The Draft MIP was released at a public workshop in February 2022 to solicit input and comments from the public and the SSMP Science Committee. The Science Committee’s comments were reviewed by the working groups in July-August 2022 and considered in preparation of the 2022 final MIP. The MIP is a living document that can be updated in future to respond to the changing ecosystem and management needs of the Salton Sea.


A copy of the MIP can be found here. La version es español del MIP se encuentra aquí.

Respond to the Salton Sea

Community Amenities Survey Today!

In recognition of the need for greater investments in communities in the Salton Sea region, CNRA is supporting the development of a Community Amenities Strategy document. The goal of the document is to identify community amenities that can be undertaken within SSMP projects, as well as to identify additional broader regional needs that fall outside the scope of the SSMP. The Community Amenities Strategy will focus on core strategies related to recreation and equitable access, climate resilience, education and programming, transportation, broadband access, public health, and workforce.

Community feedback is integral to the formation of the Salton Sea Community Amenities Strategy to ensure the document reflects the needs of communities at and around the Sea. This month and through January, Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI) and Better World Group (BWG) are conducting a survey to collect responses from residents around the Salton Sea. Results from this survey will help inform a strategy that includes recommendations for how to incorporate community needs into restoration efforts at the Sea and identify opportunities for meaningful investments and policies change outside of the scope of the SSMP. The English survey is linked here. La encuesta en español se encuentra aquí. Survey respondents will receive $10 for completing this 5-minute survey. Feel free to share the survey with your respective organizations, community partners, and community residents.

In the coming weeks, KDI and BWG will also be hosting workshops and engagement activities at local community events to collect input, advice, and ideas from residents, in both Riverside and Imperial Counties. Community members with ideas on events to attend, community residents that should be part of focus group work, or who want to be involved are encouraged to contact Daniel Garcia at

Thank you and Happy New Year!


SSMP Deputy Assistant Secretary, Mario Llanos presenting at Calipatria High School library on December 7.

The Salton Sea Management Program team thanks each of you for your continued participation, support, and engagement on the Salton Sea. We thank all of those who are actively engaged in the multiple spaces that the SSMP has created for partners and community members to help contribute to achieving substantial progress for restoration of the Salton Sea ecosystem.

With over 30 engagement opportunities throughout 2022, we acknowledge and appreciate the active interest and participation from tribal representatives, members of the SSMP Committees, and community members of the Salton Sea region. Online public meetings included the Community Engagement Committee, the Science Committee, the Long -Range Plan Committee, public meetings from our partners for the Environmental Assessment of the 10-Year Plan Projects, and most recently, the first in-person SSMP Community Meeting on December 7, 2022 at the Calipatria High School library.

The SSMP team is looking forward to a productive 2023 to continue to enhance the presence in the community as well as creating spaces for continued collaboration and community participation.