Working with partners and community groups, the SSMP team created a strategic vision for delivering dust suppression and habitat projects in the remaining years of the SSMP Phase I: 10-Year Plan.

In addition to planning and implementing the Species Conservation Habitat (SCH) project and interim dust suppression projects,  the state team, along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District, initiated the Corps’ National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process for authorizing projects proposed by the Salton Sea Management Program Phase I: 10-year Plan. The team also contracted with the University of California, Santa Cruz, to facilitate an Independent Review Panel to perform a feasibility assessment of water importation concepts to help inform long-range planning beyond Phase I.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District (Corps) released a Public Notice March 22, 2021, that initiates the Corps’ National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process for authorizing projects proposed by the Salton Sea Management Program Phase I: 10-year Plan. The Public Notice provides information on how to submit written comments, and may be viewed in both English and Spanish language versions at the Corps website.

The Corps Public Notice describes the draft project description as addressing the 29,800 acres of habitat and dust suppression projects identified in the SSMP Phase I: 10-year Plan, including several proposed projects such as the North Lake Demonstration Project, a larger North Lake concept, the Desert Shores Channel Restoration Project, the Audubon Wetland Restoration Project, as well as a Watershed Plan component, and Dust Suppression Action Plan projects. At least 14,900 acres of SSMP 10-year Plan projects would be aquatic habitat restoration projects that convert exposed lakebed to either pond habitat suitable for fish and wildlife or to wetland habitats. Dust suppression projects would address fugitive dust emissions but may also have habitat benefits. Many of the projects under consideration would require Federal agency authorizations, including permits from the Corps.

The Corps is the lead Federal agency for the NEPA review process related to its permitting authority under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The Corps invited other Federal agencies to participate as cooperating agencies in the preparation of an environmental assessment. To provide comments or request additional information, please follow the link in the Corps public notice for further instructions.

Last fall, the SSMP team hosted three public workshops and a 30-day written comment period to solicit input to inform a revised project description, which was in turn submitted to the Corps to initiate the NEPA process. Comments received during the State’s public review, along with the current updated draft project description can be found below as well as earlier documents.

The Corps anticipates releasing its draft NEPA document for public review and comment this summer.

A series of three virtual workshops were held in September 2020 to solicit community input on the draft Project Description goals and objectives as well as the sizes, locations, and types of projects being proposed and anticipated impacts. The state also solicited feedback about how the public would like to access the Sea and what compatible community amenities should be prioritized. In addition to the public workshops, written comments on the Project Description were accepted through September 30, 2020.

All comments received, either verbally or written, have been compiled into a document below. The input acquired will help inform the development of a range of alternatives for approximately 30,000 acres of projects that will be part of the document.


Download the Agenda in English

Descarga la Agenda en Español

News Releases/Announcements:

The State released the Final Salton Sea Long-Range Plan on March 15, 2024. Revision 1.01 was released on April 22, 2024.

In 2023, the SSMP invested significant time and effort to advance work with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and SSA on the Imperial Streams and Salton Sea Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study (Feasibility Study). This Feasibility Study is a continuation of SSMP’s effort on the Long-Range Plan. The restoration strategies and concepts described in the Long-Range Plan are necessarily ambitious. Any combination of concepts within the Plan will require significant federal and local support to deliver. The SSMP views our partnership with USACE and SSA as essential for identifying and implementing a preferred alternative for the long-term restoration of the Salton Sea.

In December 2022, the California Department of Water Resources, SSA, and USACE Los Angeles District entered into a Feasibility Cost Share Agreement, effectively kicking off the Feasibility Study. Acknowledging the extensive work completed by the SSMP and other agencies and organizations to develop the Draft LRP, USACE adopted the restoration concepts set forth in the Long-Range Plan to evaluate in the Feasibility Study. The USACE study team plans to refine and build upon the LRP concepts to align with USACE policy and procedures and then apply their standard planning process as required by federal regulation.

During 2023, the three agencies worked together to develop a shared understanding of the scope of challenges and opportunities surrounding the Salton Sea. This scope was heavily informed by the Draft Long-Range Plan document, process, and public comments. Through this scoping effort, in August 2023, USACE affirmed the LRP restoration concepts that were recommended for further evaluation as alternatives in the Feasibility Study. USACE also developed a proposed scope, schedule, and budget to complete the Feasibility Study. The scope and schedule incorporate preferred hydrologic, hydraulic, and ecological models, data collection needs, public involvement plans, and review plans to complete the study. Under this preferred scope, the study is anticipated to cost between $12-16 million.

Currently, USACE and the State of California have secured funding to cover $3 million of the Study’s scope. This Cost Share Agreement allows the USACE and its partners to split the cost of the study and work collaboratively on possible solutions. Work is underway to secure the additional funds needed to complete the Feasibility Study.