Cdp Support To Prevent The Death Of The Salton Sea

Resolution 14-07.27 

 

WHEREAS, (1) The Salton Sea, the largest body of water in California, is in danger of accelerated disappearance; (2) its shrinking rate, about 6 feet/year, exposes bottom areas with decades of accumulated poisonous agricultural chemicals; (3) such chemicals, picked up and disseminated by the strong desert winds, pose severe health hazards, and descend on nearby farms polluting growing crops; (4) conflicts with the Federal Clean Water and Clean Air Acts continuously arise from the Sea's ongoing deterioration, and

WHEREAS, (1) the State of California has incurred severe financial obligations through the 2003 Quantitative Settlement Agreement (QSA) in assuming ultimate ownership for restoring the Sea; (2) disputes over these State obligations now linger in legal and legislative limbo with no end in sight; (3) an outcome of the QSA is reduction of water inflows to the Sea, shrinking to a trickle starting in 2017; (4) such water reductions increase the Sea's salinity endangering the survival of its last remaining fish species - tilapia, critical food for Pacific Flyway migratory birds; (5) nutrient-laden inflows of polluted water cause periodic algal blooms creating eutrophic conditions that suffocate vast numbers of tilapia; (6) the dead rotting fish produce health-threatening noxious odors that may reach over 160 miles, as they did in Sept 2012 when they reached Los Angeles; (7) combinations of these effects soon may cause extinction of the Sea's ecological viability and bring on conflicts with the Federal Endangered Species Act, and

WHEREAS, (1) many plans to ‘fix the Sea' have been introduced over the years with none assessed likely to be effective; (2) the current plan, known as ‘The Preferred Approach', if implemented, will forever change the character of the Sea imposing drastic ecological changes; (3) an effective restoration program could restore the Salton Sea environment enabling its return as a vibrant tourism and recreation destination, a status it held as recently as the late 1960s, and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party exert the strongest possible influence on state and federal agencies to organize, fund, manage, implement, and sustain a viable restored Salton Sea, and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party support garnering additional funds for enlarging the scope of current stop-gap measures to arrest deterioration of the Sea's ecosystem until the final solution can be developed and sustained by law.

Sponsored by John Kopp (AD 60), Suzan Wilkinson (AD 56), and Gail Ferrell (AD 67).

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Adopted by the California Democratic Party
At its July 2014 Executive Board Meeting
Marriot Hotel, Oakland
July 13, 2014

 

 

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