SSMP e-Newsletter – March

Working Together Works: Tools and Plans for the Future of the Salton Sea

Salton Sea Management Program Project Tracker is Now Live

The SSMP team has developed an online Project Tracker to provide a comprehensive public platform with updated information on Salton Sea Management Program projects. The Project Tracker shows progress under the Salton Sea Management Program Phase 1: 10-Year Plan in a single location.

Integrated into the SSMP website at, this tool tracks current progress on SSMP 10-Year Plan projects. Projects are viewable and sortable by project phases, activity type, and category. The Explore Projects and Project Info sections display information on the activities, outcomes, and different SSMP metrics important to the Salton Sea Region. The Results Section has a Progress Dashboard that provides a snapshot of the accomplishments and advancements being made to improve conditions at the Salton Sea and displays information on the current progress towards meeting the requirements in State Water Resources Control Board Order 2017-0134.

The Project Tracker will be updated throughout the year with project photos, status, and important information. Acreage totals will be updated in June/July and again at the end of the year to align with Annual Report acreage reporting.

Salton Sea Long-Range Plan is Now Finalized

To meet its commitment for long-term planning beyond the Phase 1: 10-Year Plan, the SSMP prepared the Final Final Long-Range Plan (LRP), which is now available on the SSMP website. This Final LRP, including the comments submitted on the Draft LRP, is a focus of a Salton Sea restoration feasibility study that is being led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

A public draft of the LRP was released by the SSMP Team in December 2022 to comply with State Water Resources Control Board Order WRO 2017-0134. This draft plan was developed with support from Tribal leadership, community-based organizations, local, state, and federal agencies, and other interested parties. The proposed restoration concepts within the plan intend to protect or improve air quality, water quality, and wildlife habitat to reduce health and environmental consequences anticipated from the long-term recession of the Salton Sea. After a 45-day comment period in 2023, the SSMP compiled, reviewed, and responded to comments (reflected in Appendix I), developed new air quality modeling to inform the plan in response to public comments, and completed an updated the Final LRP.

The SSMP has partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Salton Sea Authority to undertake a feasibility study for long-term restoration actions at the Sea. The official title of the feasibility study is: Imperial Streams and Salton Sea Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study. Additional public input opportunities will be available during this process to shape and enhance the plan for future actions at the Sea.

Spanish Final LRP and its appendices are also available.

Salton Sea Monitoring Implementation Plan: The First Ever Annual Work Plan Has Been Developed

The 2024 Salton Sea MIP Annual Work Plan(Work Plan) is a collaborative effort among different entities and SSMP partners around the Sea. The Work Plan reflects the annually planned monitoring work by the SSMP and implementing partners within the Salton Sea ecosystem during the calendar year. The SSMP team recognizes the crucial role of partnerships in meeting restoration goals through collecting data, facilitating project implementation, and helping secure funding. This collaboration leverages the collective investments and scientific data being collected around the Sea.

Cover Page of Annual Work Plan

This first MIP Annual Work Plan demonstrates the breadth of monitoring and research at the Salton Sea, and we hope it will be a foundation for further collaboration and coordination. Although annual reporting is dependent on available funding, the reports are planned to also include a summary of data collected during each year and cumulatively as well as recommendations for adjustment and improvement of survey locations and sampling protocol. The SSMP is currently developing a resource to be able to hold the reports collected in one place for public use. Please note that this Work Plan may not reflect all the scientific studies underway around the Sea, as researchers and partners submit information on a volunteer basis. The SSMP team would like to thank all entities that participated in the development of the 2024 Work Plan and encourage additional partners to participate in future work plans. We anticipate holding an annual coordination workshop in October 2024 to develop the 2025 Work Plan. To ensure a productive workshop, implementing partners should anticipate providing a summary of scientific activities that were conducted in 2024, challenges and lessons learned from 2024 efforts, annual reports (if available), data needs and opportunities for 2025, and confirmation of anticipated monitoring activities in 2025. Working together we can obtain data that will assist in better management of the Salton Sea ecosystem.

SSMP Engagement Opportunities

REMINDER: Send Us Your Comments on the SSMP and Community Needs Report by March 26

Earlier this year, the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) released a draft of the Salton Sea Management Program and Community Needs Report for a 60-day public comment period, ending on March 26,2024. The Salton Sea Management Program and Community Needs Report identifies community needs related to the SSMP’s Salton Sea restoration efforts and lists current activities and potential opportunities for the SSMP to address community needs while implementing restoration projects.

Accompanying the release of the SSMP report is a public draft of the Salton Sea Community Needs and Recommended Actions Report by Better World Group Advisors. This report identifies community needs and recommends actions that can be taken by federal, state, and local government agencies, business organizations, philanthropy, community-based groups, and nonprofit organizations.

The SSMP is looking forward to your review and feedback on or before the end of the public comment period on March 26,2024. Please send us your written comments via email to or via regular mail to:

Attn: Salton Sea Community Needs Report
California Natural Resources Agency
715 P Street, 20th Floor.
Sacramento, CA, 9581475.

At the conclusion of the public comment period, the SSMP Team and Better World group will gather, and review all received comments to make necessary updates to finalize these reports. Once ready, the reports will be available at the SSMP website.
CNRA is grateful to the community members, California Native American tribes, and regional partners who participated in this effort to identify community needs and detail what efforts and projects to consider as part of the SSMP

Salton Sea Authority Community Meeting TODAY

The Salton Sea Authority and its Project Manager, Gafcon are hosting an in-person community planning meeting for the Desert Shores Channel Restoration Project on March 19 at 6:00 p.m. A presentation will be provided, followed by a Q&A period.
Participate and provide your ideas, thoughts, and input on the visioning, designs, and plans to restore the channels.
Tuesday, March 19
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
50 Desert Shores Drive
Thermal, CA 92274
Spanish Interpretation will be provided. Habrá interpretación en español.
Click here to view the event flyer.
Visit the Salton Sea Authority website for more information.

Visitors Come to the Imperial Wildlife Area at the Salton Sea

Last month, members of the SSMP team from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) organized a tour with faculty and students from Wittenberg University. The group visited and toured around the Wister Unit at the Imperial Wildlife Area. The visiting students are majoring in environmental science, business, and economics and were interested in Salton Sea management activities; the role CDFW staff play in conservation efforts and the SSMP; and were also excited to see the waterfowl at the site.

Conversations with the visiting group included different topics like the importance of habitat restoration at the Sea and how the SSMP is engaging different levels of tribal, state, federal, local governments, communities, and non-governmental organizations to work together on the overall mission to restore habitat and increase dust suppression efforts. “One organization or agency could not do this alone. It takes the effort of multiple individuals to achieve progress for the Salton Sea. Working together works,” said Tonya Marshall, Salton Sea Program Manager with CDFW.  Wildlife and bird species that utilize the area were also discussed. Below are some of the birds viewed during the tour.