California's legendary Salton Sea may need an epitaph soon, thanks to a "farm to city" water deal that takes full effect in 2018. The controversial deal redirects most of the water that now sustains the Salton Sea to thirsty towns and cities. As a result, in the years ahead, more than a third of the 350-square-mile lake in the deserts of southeastern California is expected to dry up and blow away.
Mitigation experts with the state of California say they're working hard to minimize the environmental side effects of the giant water transfer deal. But critics say the mitigation plan falls far short of what's needed to protect this former tourist mecca from the impact of the coming water transfer.
By all accounts, the Salton Sea has fallen on hard times since the 1950s and the 1960s, when the resort communities that lined the Salton Sea drew tourists by the millions, as well as celebrities like Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack, the Marx Brothers, Sonny Bono and the Beach Boys.