Ideas about our water emergency from different perspectives
Yesterday in Cochella Valley was June’s Salton Sea Authority Meeting. As I await to hear the outcomes, here are a few things they discussed, according to the agenda notes I received – another testament to the complexities of the area.
Issues are categorized to make time for public comments, business that need consent from the board (like consenting on the latest cash flow projections for the authority), presentations, reports, new business, and current business. I’m not sure folks realize that they can attend many of this type of meeting in their own area and make public comments. When I attended May’s Salton Sea Authority Meeting I addressed the board briefly to say that I appreciated their work and didn’t know all of the details, but understood enough to know how complicated it was, that is was taking a lot of hard work to figure out and will only require more working together. The main point was that people that don’t live in the area still care about the sea, and so even though I wasn’t there to sway the board towards one particular decision, I think it made a little impression that someone who wasn’t directly involved in the sea would come from 8 hours away to learn about the situation.
This month there were 2 presentations. The first was from UC Riverside School of Engineering to talk about transforming green waste – in this case algae from the sea – into biofuels with the hope that you could make money cleaning up oxygen-sucking algae blooms. Next, vector control specialists were there to talk about how the drying up of the sea is increasing mosquito breeding ground. In addition to the dust and the air pollution problems, human health will face another challenge without the sea – west nile virus. Just when I thought it couldn’t get more complicated! Phew!
The other eye-catcher on the agenda, and the reason I am so interested to hear the results, is whether or not the board will approve use of funds to keep the park from closing in the next week. The funds were donated in the past to be specifically used for fish clean-ups for keeping the park open; of course the park has fish clean-ups when needed and maintains the beauty of the park land, but it is important the the dialogue continue to emphasize fish clean-ups to encourage the funds to be approved. I hope there will be at least $15,000 granted to the park because, as I said before, the park is the “window on the sea.” Keeping the park open is directly related to keeping the story of the sea alive and the efforts to restore it going.