The Salton Sea. | Photo: Connie K. Ho.

Saving the Salton Sea

It's hard to imagine that the Salton Sea was once considered a prime tourist destination in the 1950s.

Over the years, the desert lake has become a post-apocalyptic scene marked by fish carcasses, abandoned structures, and mobile homes. Now, many scientists are claiming that it's an ecological time bomb.

During the 1950s and '60s, the sea was crowded with boats, marathon races, and tourists. Celebrities and politicians made it a point to visit the Salton Sea as a weekend retreat. But the lake's popularity was short-lived after salinity and toxicity levels increased, causing thousands of fish to die, leaving an unpleasant smell and deserted beach town behind.

The Salton Sea was accidentally created in 1905 after an inundation on the Colorado River made its way past canal barriers and the Salton Trough. It's now the largest lake in California and sits 226 feet below sea level.

Politicians have called for the transformation and revitalization of the sea, but plans have come and gone, and the fate of the sea continues to be uncertain.

In this segment of "SoCal Connected," reporter Derrick Shore visits the sea to talk to locals and experts about the sea, which is not only becoming an issue for locals, but could be a threat to the environment and the health of residents in larger U.S. Southwestern region and Mexico.

 

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

'Who Approved That?,' 'Super Soil,' and 'Oil Activist'

As developments continue to pop up all over L.A., some residents are questioning who approves them. SoCal Connected takes a deep dive into L.A.'s housing and asks if the single family home is an endangered species 

It's considered some of the richest super soil in California. Get a close look at the idyllic Apricot Farms, where cutting-edge environmental practices and old school farming techniques are producing some of the purest produce around.

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  • 2018-06-24T11:30:00-07:00
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'Blowing Concerns,' 'Comeback Kids' and 'Family Savings Plan'

In a joint investigation with FairWarning, SoCal Connected looks at the politics behind regulating California's largest polluter: backyard motorized equipment like leaf blowers and lawn mowers. 

The California Condor is back from the brink of extinction but the job is far from over. Find out what it takes to keep a species surviving and thriving.

Would you switch from gas to veggie oil to run your car? how about stop flying on airplanes? Those are just some of the ways a local family has cut their energy use by ninety percent.

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30 Years with Val Zavala

Val Zavala, whose presence has been an integral part of the Southern California media landscape for three decades, is retiring. Her legacy as a news anchor/producer, Latina role model and an award-winning journalist deeply involved in the community she covers will be recognized in a special tribute episode of "SoCal Connected."

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'Airbnbs Gone Wild' and 'Military Buds'

In its season premiere episode, SoCal Connected has found neighbors throughout L.A. filing lawsuits, restraining orders and calling the police on each other, all over the arrival of short term rentals. Can these Airbnb turf wars be settled by City Hall leaders? Will self regulation of the short term rental industry be a better solution to L.A.'s enforcement challenges? SoCal Connected's Nic Cha Kim dives into L.A.'s short term rental challenge.

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'The Assassin Bugs' and 'Mending Kids'

They’re tiny, weaponized, and carry a potentially deadly payload. They’re called “Assassin Bugs” and they can be as common as the backyard mosquito or as exotic as the so-called “kissing bug"--and they're here in Southern California, spreading some of the deadliest - and neglected- diseases in the world.

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