Salton Sea Region of California
The Salton Sea is a large, shallow, saline lake located southeast of the Coachella Valley, in Southern California within Riverside County and Imperial County. While the dimensions vary depending upon rain and agricultural runoff, it averages 35 miles by 15 miles with a maximum depth of 44 feet. It is the largest lake in California. The lake's salinity is greater than the Pacific Ocean, but less than that of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. The level of salt has been increasing over the years limiting the types of fish that can survive. The primary inflows are the Alamo River, the New River, and the Whitewater River. There are no major outflows. There are a number of groups, including the Salton Sea Authority and the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge organization, working on strategies to save the Salton Sea. Towns along the Salton Sea include: Bombay Beach, Desert Beach, Desert Shores, Salton City, Salton Sea Beach, and North Shore.
The Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, named after Congressman Sonny Bono, is located in the Imperial Valley at the southern end of the Salton Sea. The refuge contains marine, freshwater, wetland, and agricultural habitats which provide sanctuary for hundreds of birds and wetland species, including some that are endangered. The refuge has a visitor center and walking trails.
The Salton Sea State Recreation Area, located on the northeastern side of the Salton Sea offers camping, fishing, and swimming to visitors. The Salton Sea State Recreation Area is administered by the California Department Parks and Recreation.
The Salton Sea Landowners Association was formed in 1993 to act as an advocate for property owners on the west shore and to keep its members informed about those issues affecting land values. The organization is a voluntary membership organization that distributes a newsletter to its members.
A census-designated place located on the eastern shore of the Salton Sea in Imperial County.
A census-designated place adjacent to Salton City in Imperial County, located on the western shore of the Salton Sea.
A census-designated place located on the northeast shore of the Salton Sea in southeastern Riverside County. Home of the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge.
A census designated place adjacent to Desert Shores in Imperial County located on the western side of the Salton Sea.
Salton Sea Beach
A census-designated place located on the western shore of the Salton Sea, south of Desert Shores and north of Salton City in Imperial County.
An unincorporated community in the Coachella Valley region of Riverside County located about 25 miles southeast of Palm Springs and 9.5 miles north of the Salton Sea.
Salton Sea Airport
The Salton Sea Airport is a privately owned, public use airport located approximately one mile southwest of Salton City in Imperial County. The airport has one runway and has about 350 general aviation operations each month. It serves Bombay Beach, Desert Shores, North Shore, Salton City, Salton Sea Beach, Thermal, and the surrounding areas.
Tributaries of the Salton Sea:
- The Alamo River flows north and west from the Mexicali Valley in Baja California 52 miles across the Imperial Valley into the Salton Sea.
- The New River flows north from the Mexicali Valley in Baja California through the city of Calexico in the Imperial Valley into the Salton Sea.
- The Whitewater River is a small permanent stream with its headwaters in southwestern San Bernardino County. From the San Bernardino Mountains, the river flows south into the Mojave Desert and Salton Sea.
- Salt Creek is a 26-mile intermittent stream with its headwaters in Riverside County. The stream discharges at the north side of the Salton Sea just north of Salt Creek Beach which is in the Salton Sea Recreation Area.