Salton Sea Community “Field Day” Studies Contamination

Ceci Partridge

Several community members and researchers arrived at the Salton Sea Saturday to discover —what exactly is in the water, and how it’s affecting the area.

The professional environmental researchers and amateur community scientists arrived at 84th Avenue near Hwy 86 in Thermal at 9 a.m. to start their tests.

Researchers include residents from communities in the Eastern Coachella Valley, high school and college students from Alianza Coachella Valley, Loma Linda University and the Thriving Earth Exchange.

The attendees collected samples from the body of water to better understand what is causing the environmental crisis in the communities encapsulating the Salton Sea.

According to Alianza, participants learn scientific inquiry and data analysis techniques while assisting in real research into the rapidly changing conditions at the Salton Sea.

The study, created in 2021, called the Salton Sea Community Science Project expects the samples to inform them how water depletion, agricultural runoff, and wind contribute to local water and air quality issues.

The data will be added to the project’s growing public database

This research is not being done by the state of California or any other government entity, according to Alianza, and fills a research gap and explains the smells and the poor air quality that people living near the sea frequently experience.

The group also says it empowers residents by giving them frontline access to information.

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