SSMP e-Newsletter – April

SSMP Engagement

Partners Visit the Species Conservation Habitat and Vegetation Enhancement Projects

Over the past year, the Salton Sea Management Program (SSMP) team has put a strong emphasis on showcasing the restoration work being undertaken by the SSMP at the Species Conservation Habitat Project and Vegetation Enhancement Projects at the Salton Sea. The SSMP team has led numerous site visits and tours for partners, agencies from different governmental levels, and students from the Salton Sea region. The SSMP team is sharing lessons learned, challenges, and accomplishments, as well as identifying opportunities for collaboration with partner agencies.

Recently, staff from the California State Parks, Ocotillo Wells District, and State Parks Director Armando Quintero visited the SCH Project. The visit included a project presentation and a site tour. The SSMP team provided project details during the tour and received recommendations from State Parks to enhance the existing vision for the project and create cohesiveness with the Salton Sea State Recreation Area.

State Parks included a very descriptive report on this visit in their recent Weekly Digest newsletter.

Parks Staff and SSMP Team at the boat launch ramp at the end of the causeway, adjacent to the saline pump station.

Parks Staff and SSMP Team at the boat launch ramp at the end of the causeway, adjacent to the saline pump station.

At the New River diversion structure. Left to right: Ocotillo Wells District Superintendent Enrique Arroyo, Director Armando Quintero, CNRA Deputy Assistant Secretary Mario Llanos and CNRA Public Affairs Officer Miguel Hernandez.

At the New River diversion structure. Left to right: Ocotillo Wells District Superintendent Enrique Arroyo, State Parks Director Armando Quintero, CNRA Deputy Assistant Secretary Mario Llanos and CNRA Public Affairs Officer Miguel Hernandez.

Earlier this month, the SSMP, in collaboration with the Imperial Irrigation District (IID), welcomed staff from Federal and Utah State Agencies. The aim was to share information on restoration efforts at the Salton Sea while concurrently fostering an inter-state relationship among regions facing similar challenges.

The gathering was located at the Species Conservation Habitat Project at the southern end of the Salton Sea. Here, participants received an update from the SSMP on its ongoing restoration work. Additionally, IID provided a detailed presentation of the science behind its Salton Sea Air Quality Mitigation Program and Proactive Dust Control Plan. The presentations resulted in a robust dialogue and exchange of ideas.

SSMP team providing a project presentation to visiting group. Attendees included representatives from the US Bureau of Reclamation, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the United States Geological Survey Utah Water Science Center. They were joined by Utah State officials from The Great Salt Lake Commission, the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Water Resources and the Fire and State Lands Division of Forestry.

At the saline pump station, the group was provided with more specifics on each of the project components, included the saline pump station, the New River Diversion structure, and the nesting islands. 

Given the parallels between the challenges faced by the Great Salt Lake and the Salton Sea, the Utah delegation was interested in learning more about the Salton Sea’s challenges and restoration actions underway or planned. Utah officials wanted to identify how these lessons could help inform future actions at the Great Salt Lake.

The visit also included a tour of the SSMP’s Vegetation Enhancement Clubhouse project site near Salton City. The event served as a platform for collaborative information sharing, fostering new and existing partnerships, meaningful conversations, and setting the stage for future beneficial exchanges.

Visiting the Vegetation Enhancement Clubhouse site near Salton City. The SSMP team provided details about the phases of the project, its current conditions, and lessons learned.

SSMP Community Meetings are set for May 8, 9, and 10.
2024 SSMP Annual Report

The SSMP team is hosting two in-person meetings and a virtual Zoom meeting on its 2024 Annual Report. Join us at one of the upcoming community meetings to learn more about what’s happening at the Salton Sea and how you can get involved.

Get an overview of the recently released 2024 SSMP Annual Report and learn more about restoration projects underway at the Sea. Learn about the SSMP Project Tracker and connect with the SSMP team to ask your questions and provide feedback.

Spanish interpretation will be provided. Habrá interpretación al español.
All community members are welcome!

May 8, in-person:

Brawley Union High School
480 N. Imperial Ave, Brawley, CA 92227
Wednesday, May 8, 2024, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

May 9, in-person:

Coachella Library
1500 6th Street, Coachella, CA 92236
Thursday, May 9, 2024, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

May 10, Virtual meeting on Zoom:

+1 (669) 444-9171
Friday, May 10, 2024 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

For more information visit:

Salton Sea Authority Sets a Community Meeting for April 30

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 April 30 at 6:00 p.m.

A presentation will be provided. Participate, ask your questions, and provide your ideas, thoughts, and input on the visioning, designs, and plans to restore the channels.

Tuesday, April 30 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.

SSMP Planning

Programmatic Agreement is Available on
Army Corps Website for Information and Review

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has been continuing to work with federal cooperating agencies, the State Historic Preservation Officer, the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the SSMP team to comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. A Programmatic Agreement has been drafted and is available on the Corps website for a 30-day public review, closing on May 20, 2024. Once finalized, the Programmatic Agreement will outline the Section 106 Process related to historic properties, including cultural and archeological resources, for all SSMP Phase 1: 10-Year Plan projects within the planning area covered by the Corps’ forthcoming final Environmental Assessment. 


SSMP Welcomes New Team Members

To continue delivering critical projects around the Salton Sea, the Salton Sea Management Program (SSMP) has filled two key vacancies at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Salton Sea Program.

Suzy Neal is CDFW’s new Senior Environmental Scientist Specialist focusing on compliance with the Integrated Science Team.

Born in Arizona, Suzy’s education, career, and professional endeavors landed her in California. She previously worked as a lab instructor for Intro to Biology courses at California State University, San Bernardino, and most recently at the Santa Ana Regional Water Board as the coordinator for the Irrigated Lands Regulatory and Nonpoint Source Programs.

She graduated from California State University, San Bernardino with a B.A. in Biology and then an M.S. in Biology with a focus on population genetics, ecology, and conservation. Suzy is excited to join the SSMP team and use her expertise and passion to continue working towards a healthier Salton Sea ecosystem.

Crystal Shore is CDFW’s new Environmental Scientist with the Integrated Science Team focusing on biological monitoring and adaptive management.

Crystal is a seasoned biologist who has worked in various ecosystems, from the grasslands of northern Montana to the deserts of New Mexico, the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and up to the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. She holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University and a minor in Fishery Biology. Currently residing in the Imperial Valley, she has developed a keen interest in exploring and learning about the desert around her. Crystal loves to take excursions into the desert to capture photographs of flowers and wildlife, and she enjoys spending quality time with her family.