Community Engagement Committee Meets

Salton Sea Management Update – September 28, 2021

Also: Welcome Deputy Assistant Secretary Mario Llanos; Species Conservation Habitat Project Update; Recordings of Recent Community Meetings Available

The Community Engagement Committee of the Salton Sea Management Program (SSMP) meets September 29.

UPDATE: View the meeting here, or below

The Committee meets regularly to coordinate outreach and engagement strategies for upcoming public community meetings. The SSMP team collaborates with the Community Engagement Committee to ensure that proper and effective outreach methods are intentionally used to reach the frontline communities of the Salton Sea Region.

The committee is updating the Engagement Committee charter to develop and maintain a program that enables consistent two-way communication, creates opportunities for community members to share concerns and provide input, and ultimately contributes to delivery of projects that improve conditions for communities around the Salton Sea.

Join us by using Zoom.

September 29, 2021
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84885824143

Or telephone:
866 390 1828 US Toll-free
Conference code: 787909

Welcome Deputy Assistant Secretary Mario Llanos

Secretary Mario LlanosMario Llanos is the new Deputy Assistant Secretary for the California Natural Resources Agency Salton Sea Management Program. Llanos is originally from Imperial County. He is excited to return home to make a positive impact in the community from which he grew up.

In his leadership role, Llanos will interface with stakeholders and local leaders to advance projects that improve ecosystem health and protect air quality.

Llanos has led high-performing teams at the Department of Parks and Recreation for the City of San Diego. As district manager, he administered maintenance operations and budget, oversaw a Park Ranger Program, and led project management and coordination in historically and culturally significant parks, such as Balboa Park and Presidio Park in San Diego.

Species Conservation Habitat Project Update

Species Conservation Habitat Project UpdateOther ongoing work includes, environmental compliance and cultural monitoring, drying soils for future berm construction, and preparing temporary ponds for construction water needs.

The SCH Project is at the southern end of the Salton Sea. As the state’s first large-scale project, it will create a network of ponds and wetlands to provide important fish and bird habitat. Also, it will suppress dust emissions, improving air quality as the Salton Sea continues to recede. The project will cover more than 4,100 acres and is expected to be completed in 2023.

Recordings of Recent Community Meetings Available

Recordings of Recent Community Meetings AvailableIf you missed the recent SSMP community meetings, recordings are available in English and Spanish.

The meetings provided an opportunity to share experiences, meet new members of the SSMP team, hear more about the process to study water importation concepts and learn more about the long-range planning process the state has launched.

The meetings were August 31 and September 2. The meetings cover the same topics, but took place at different times to make it more convenient for people to participate.

If you would like to view the meetings in English use the following links:

08/31 – https://youtu.be/6VrIou2xjyA
09/02 – https://youtu.be/5P4tVgvMuVY

For Spanish recordings, use these links:

08/31/21   https://youtu.be/bCHcxeFV0Wk
09/02/21   https://youtu.be/-3ft62Uu5b4

For updates from the SSMP team, sign up for the Salton Sea Management Program newsletter.

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Community Meetings Set for This Week

Salton Sea Management Program Update – August 31, 2021

Also: SSMP Welcomes New Team Members

Join the Salton Sea Management Program (SSMP) for a community meeting this afternoon or September 2 in the evening.

The meetings provide an opportunity to share experiences, meet new members of the SSMP team, hear more about the process to study water importation concepts and learn more about the long-range planning process the state is launching.

The August 31 meeting begins at 2 p.m. The September 2 meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. Spanish interpretation will be provided.

Attendees will be able to access the meetings through these links at Zoom, Facebook Live (Spanish only), or call in by telephone (888-278-0296, access code 596019). For more information, visit www.saltonsea.ca.gov or email cnra-saltonsea@resources.ca.gov.

SSMP Welcomes New Team Members

To continue delivering critical projects around the Salton Sea, the SSMP is adding two new members to the team.

Photo of James Newcomb

James Newcomb

James Newcomb will serve as an Assistant Deputy Director and lead the Salton Sea team at the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and work with leadership across state government beginning Sept. 1.

Newcomb is an environmental program manager at DWR. He has worked primarily in habitat restoration. He led the development of the Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Implementation plan and has been critical in implementing new infrastructure in the Yolo Bypass to create improved habitat for salmon and sturgeon.

Photo of Miguel Hernández

Miguel Hernández

Starting Sept. 1, life-long Imperial Valley resident Miguel Hernández will be the SSMP’s new public affairs officer at the California Natural Resources Agency.

Hernández will be stationed in Imperial County and will lead the SSMP’s local outreach and communications efforts.

Hernández previously worked as the communications coordinator at Comité Cívico del Valle, a community-based organization that works on environmental justice throughout California. In this capacity, he served as the community chair for the Imperial Valley and East Coachella Valley Environmental Justice Enforcement Task Force, oversaw and coordinated the Salton Sea Community Outreach, Education, and Engagement program, and led advocacy efforts for environmental justice issues affecting disadvantaged communities in California.

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Request for Additional Concepts for Water Importation to the Salton Sea

Salton Sea Management Program Update – August 17, 2021

Also: Upcoming Community Meetings Aug. 31 and Sept. 2

The Independent Review Panel tasked with studying the feasibility of importing water to the Salton Sea is offering an opportunity for parties to submit new or updated information by October 12.

The Panel will accept new concepts for water importation that were not submitted in 2018 as well as updates to the 11 concepts previously submitted. For more information visit the new web page for the Panel.

The Panel is inviting all proposers to present their concepts this fall. The optional 30-minute presentations will allow proposers to highlight their concepts and any new information and field questions from the Panel.

New concepts and updates are due October 12.

Questions for the Independent Review Panel and its support team can be submitted via email to: sslt-eval-input@ucsc.edu. If you submitted a concept in 2018, use this email: link-sslt-eval@ucsc.edu.

A public meeting is planned for early November where the public will have the opportunity to ask questions or give comments about the project to the Panel. Further details will be available soon.

Upcoming Community Meetings Aug. 31 and Sept. 2

The chair of the Independent Review Panel, Dr. Rominder Suri, will attend the upcoming community meetings, August 31 and September 2. Suri will provide information about the water importation feasibility evaluation.

The meetings provide an opportunity to share experiences, meet new members of the SSMP team, hear more about the process to study the water importation concepts and learn more about the long-range planning process the state is launching.

Afternoon and evening meetings are planned. Spanish interpretation will be provided. The August 31 meeting begins at 2 p.m. The September 2 meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.

Attendees will be able to access the meetings through Zoom, Facebook Live (Spanish only), or call in by telephone (888-278-0296, access code 596019). For more information, visit www.saltonsea.ca.gov or email cnra-saltonsea@resources.ca.gov.

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Save the Date for Community Meetings Aug. 31 and Sept. 2

Salton Sea Management Program Update – August 11, 2021

Also: Chair Selected for Independent Review Panel Studying Water Importation; Progress Continues on Species Conservation Habitat Project

 

Save the Date for Community Meetings Aug. 31 and Sept. 2

The Salton Sea Management Program is hosting two virtual community meetings August 31 and September 2 to share updates and hear from residents.

The meetings provide an opportunity to share experiences, meet new members of the SSMP team, hear from experts about the process to study proposals to import water to the Salton Sea and learn more about the long-range planning process the state is launching this summer.

Afternoon and evening meetings are planned so more people can attend. Spanish interpretation will be provided. The August 31 meeting begins at 2 p.m., while the September 2 meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.

Attendees will be able to access the meetings over Zoom, Facebook Live, or call in by telephone (888-278-0296, access code 596019). For more information, visit www.saltonsea.ca.gov or email cnra-saltonsea@resources.ca.gov.

Chair Selected for Independent Review Panel Studying Water Importation

Dr. Rominder Suri, professor and chair of Temple University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will serve as chair of the Independent Review Panel evaluating long-term water import strategies for Salton Sea restoration.

Suri’s leadership from his academic tenure, as well as his National Science Foundation-funded Water and Environmental Technology (WET) Center, give him extensive experience in working with interest groups and facilitating collaborative processes. His work with the USAID-funded Egyptian Center of Excellence for Water has placed him in international settings where diplomacy, as well as technical expertise, are required.

Suri has published papers on water treatment processes. He has studied traditional and novel treatment techniques. His work has resulted in building treatment facilities in Brazil and Ireland. Water quality impacts will be an important consideration in the evaluation of seawater importation concepts for long-term restoration of the Salton Sea.

As the chair of the independent review panel, his duties will include the selection of panel nominees, leading the drafting of reports, setting agendas for and managing all meetings, and supervising all votes and deliberations by the panel.

The water importation concepts will be reviewed by the panel’s experts. The panel will hold its first meeting this fall. At that time, members of the public can share opinions and information about sea water importation options.

Suri will attend the August 31 and September 2 community meetings to provide additional information about the water importation feasibility study.

Progress Continues on Species Conservation Habitat Project

Work continues on the Species Conservation Habitat (SCH) Project with the continuing excavation of an interception ditch to the west and east of the New River and the connection to additional agricultural drains.

Design work for the balance of the project will continue into November.

The SCH Project is at the southern end of the Salton Sea. As the state’s first large-scale project, it will create a network of ponds and wetlands to provide important fish and bird habitat. Also, it will suppress dust emissions, improving air quality as the Salton Sea continues to recede. The project will cover more than 4,100 acres and is expected to be completed in 2023.

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SSMP Seeks Information Officer

Salton Sea Management Program Update – June 4, 2021

To strengthen communication with the public about state activities around the Salton Sea, the SSMP seeks to add a communications expert to the team.

The position will conduct a comprehensive communication and public outreach program to help tell the story of SSMP activities, objectives, and priorities. The position can be located in Riverside or Imperial County.

Apply for the Information Officer position by June 11.

Application Deadline Extended for Key Leadership Position

The recruitment period for the deputy assistant secretary, a key SSMP leadership position has been extended to June 14. The deputy assistant secretary will provide essential leadership and coordination of SSMP activities on a variety of policy and science-related issues.

Find details about the positions on the SSMP website.

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Roundtable Discussion on Salton Sea Set for May 25

Salton Sea Management Program Update – May 24, 2021

Join a roundtable discussion Tuesday, May 25, from 1 to 2 p.m., about the Salton Sea’s future, community engagement, and new funding opportunities. The roundtable is organized by Audubon California, Pacific Institute, Comite Civico del Valle and others.

California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot will be part of the roundtable. It will be moderated by the Los Angeles Time’s Sammy Roth. Other panel members featured are Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, State Water Resources Control Board Chair Joaquin Esquivel, and North Shore youth advocate Adriana Torres.

The event will be streamed on Facebook in English at https://www.facebook.com/audubonca.

The event will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube in Spanish at https://fb.me/e/1zi7AZvh5 and also at https://www.youtube.com/user/audubonca.

Recruiting for SSMP Leadership Positions

The SSMP team is recruiting for key positions to help advance the state’s commitment to deliver projects at the Salton Sea.

The California Natural Resources Agency is recruiting for a deputy assistant secretary to provide essential leadership and coordination of SSMP activities on a variety of policy and science-related issues. The position will be located near the Sea in Imperial or Riverside County. The deadline for applications is June 4 and details can be found at the following postings:

https://www.calcareers.ca.gov/CalHrPublic/Jobs/JobPosting.aspx?JobControlId=251847

https://www.calcareers.ca.gov/CalHrPublic/Jobs/JobPosting.aspx?JobControlId=252453

https://www.calcareers.ca.gov/CalHrPublic/Jobs/JobPosting.aspx?JobControlId=252474

https://www.calcareers.ca.gov/CalHrPublic/Jobs/JobPosting.aspx?JobControlId=252231

In addition, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is recruiting for its Salton Sea program manager. The deadline for applications is June 4.

The career executive assignment (CEA A) is responsible for performing high-level coordination, implementation oversight, and ensuring the Salton Sea Management Program (SSMP) and habitat conservation in and around the Salton Sea meet state policy objectives. The position will act as the CDFW’s lead for the Salton Sea planning effort and will manage budget and personnel resources for the Salton Sea program.

https://www.calcareers.ca.gov/CalHrPublic/Jobs/JobPosting.aspx?JobControlId=249444

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California Comeback Plan Includes $220 Million for Salton Sea

Salton Sea Management Program Update – May 14, 2021

As part of the biggest economic recovery package in California history, Governor Gavin Newsom’s $100 billion California Comeback Plan proposes $220 million for the Salton Sea to fund projects to improve conditions and provide immediate economic relief to communities in the region.

The funding will bolster the state’s effort to implement the Salton Sea Management Program’s Phase 1: 10-Year Plan, which calls for construction of nearly 30,000 acres of habitat and dust suppression projects on exposed lakebed by 2028. Construction is now underway on a major 4,100-acre habitat project at the southern end of the Sea, and about 750 acres of interim dust suppression projects were completed last year.

The infusion of new funds could enable an additional 4,000 acres of deep-water habitat, 1,000 acres of shallow water habitat, and 3,000 acres of dust suppression projects.

“Governor Newsom’s proposal to significantly expand funding to implement the Salton Sea Management Plan reflects our continued commitment to stabilize and restore the sea,” California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot said. “This work has to happen in partnership with local communities and leaders, and I’m encouraged with our collaboration on several fronts. While we’ve started to make important progress together, we have a lot of work ahead of us and this proposed funding is critical to deliver needed improvements.”

This new funding proposed by the governor is part of his broader climate change response as California roars back in 2021 and beyond.

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Recruitment Extended for Assistant Deputy Director Post

Posted April 30, 2021

The recruitment period has been extended to May 10 for applicants interested in the Assistant Deputy Director position for the Salton Sea Restoration Program.

The Assistant Deputy Director will lead the Department of Water Resource’s Salton Sea team, deliver wetland and dust suppression projects in coordination with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Natural Resources Agency, coordinate across local, state, and federal agencies to support the state’s legal commitments to Salton Sea restoration.

Please access the job posting to view the announcement and duty statement. If you have any questions, please contact Myra Galvez at (916) 653-8735.

Funding Agreement Paves Way for North Lake Demonstration Project to Advance

Salton Sea Management Program Update – April 29, 2021

Also: SSMP Full Annual Report Now in Spanish

The California Department of Water Resources and the Salton Sea Authority have signed a $19.25 million grant funding agreement for the North Lake Demonstration Project, a 160-acre lake to restore habitat, control dust and offer other community benefits.

Riverside County will lead the design and construction effort. With the funding agreement now in place, the county and the Salton Sea Authority will begin extensive community outreach and engagement to better inform the community of the broad project scope, and to further refine the project.

“This project, combined with other restoration efforts already underway, begins a new era of revitalization of the Sea and region,” said G. Patrick O’Dowd, executive director and general manager of the Salton Sea Authority. “Complementing the State’s important work on the Species Conservation Habitat Project which broke ground earlier this year, this demonstration project will inform many future investments at and around the Sea and in the end will provide the local community and region with improved air quality and recreational opportunities lost to the historic decline at the Sea.”

Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, representing all of western Riverside County including the Salton Sea region in the Coachella Valley, stated, “My sincerest thank you to the California Natural Resources Agency staff, the Salton Sea Authority team, and our Riverside county team for the tremendous effort it took to get this agreement across the finish line. This agreement is the beginning of a new life for the Sea. The residents at North Shore and the entire region will see increased protection from shoreline emissions and enjoy an economic and recreational revival.”

Located near the community of North Shore, the demonstration project when completed may be integrated into a larger North Lake concept, envisioned as an approximate 4,030-acre horseshoe-shaped lake at the north end of the Sea to control dust and create habitat for fish and birds.

The 2020-2021 California State budget allocated $19.25 million in Proposition 68 funding to implement the project. It is expected to inform future phases of deep and shallow water habitat development around the Salton Sea. Project construction is expected to start in 2022.

SSMP Full Annual Report Now in Spanish

The full 2021 Annual Report on the Salton Sea Management Program is now available in Spanish. Also available is the executive summary, the Informe anual 2021 resumen ejecutivo. Both are available on the annual report and Informacion en Espanol pages of the SSMP website.

In addition, find other recent updates including the presentation for the annual report to the State Water Resources Control Board and updated project description for the Phase 1: 10-Year Plan.

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UC Santa Cruz to Conduct Independent Feasibility Assessment of Water Importation Strategies for the Salton Sea

Salton Sea Management Program Update – April 6, 2021

Also: Now in Spanish, the Executive Summary of the SSMP Annual Report; SSMP Seeks Applicants for an Assistant Deputy Director

The Salton Sea Management Program is finalizing a contract with the University of California, Santa Cruz to perform an independent feasibility assessment of water importation strategies for the Salton Sea.

Photo of sign for UCSCUC Santa Cruz will convene an independent expert panel to review 11 water importation concepts submitted to the state in 2018, assess their technical and economic feasibility, and evaluate the overall viability of water importation as a long-term strategy for restoration of the Salton Sea. The panel will be supported by an analytical team led by Dr. Brent Haddad, professor of environmental studies at UC Santa Cruz.

The work is expected to get underway by June 1 of this year and conclude by the summer of 2022.

“UC Santa Cruz has significant experience facilitating independent technical panels, and we are excited with the multidisciplinary approach they will take on this project,” said Arturo Delgado, Assistant Secretary for Salton Sea Policy at the California Natural Resources Agency. “We look forward to getting them officially on board so this work can get underway.”

One of the first tasks for UC Santa Cruz will be to develop a detailed work plan for performing the feasibility assessment. Further details will be available in coming weeks.

The feasibility analysis of water importation concepts will be a key input for the long-range plan the SSMP is required to develop and submit to the State Water Resources Control Board. Public engagement to launch development of the long-range plan will begin—concurrently with the independent review of water importation proposals—in the coming months.

The long-range plan, which is due by the end of 2022, will establish a strategy for long-term restoration of the Salton Sea beyond the SSMP’s Phase I: 10-Year Plan currently being implemented. Options evaluated to inform the long-range plan will include project build-out based on projected future water inflows within the Salton Sea watershed, as well as water importation for a whole-Sea alternative if importation is found to be feasible

Now in Spanish, the Executive Summary of the SSMP Annual Report

Image of sidebar linkThe executive summary of the 2021 Annual Report on the Salton Sea Management Program is now available in Spanish. Find the Informe anual 2021 resumen ejecutivo on the SSMP home page along with other updates and recent documents. A Spanish translation of the full report is expected soon.

SSMP Seeks Applicants for an Assistant Deputy Director

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is seeking an Assistant Deputy Director for the Salton Sea Restoration Program.

The Assistant Deputy Director will develop and lead the DWR’s Salton Sea team, deliver wetland and dust suppression projects in coordination with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Natural Resources Agency, coordinate across local, state, and federal agencies to support the state’s legal commitments to Salton Sea restoration.

Find information and instructions for applying at the CalCareer website: https://www.calcareers.ca.gov/CalHrPublic/Jobs/JobPosting.aspx?JobControlId=245144

If you have questions, please contact Myra Galvez of DWR at (916) 653-8735.

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