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Saving the Salton Sean

A professor of ecology & evolutionary biology, Tim Bradley is director of UCI’s Salton Sea Initiative. Courtesy of the UCI Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

The California Natural Resources Agency has named Professor Timothy J. Bradley, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology to the science advisory committee for the state’s effort to preserve its largest inland body of water.

As part of the Salton Sea Management Program, Professor Bradley will work with other experts in areas such as air quality, engineering and environmental compliance to create a plan to reverse the degeneration of the massive saltwater lake.

“I’m pleased to be part of this process and that UCI can be included and try to provide expertise to aid the state,” Bradley said. “Dire consequences at the Salton Sea require a full hands-on effort by local, state and federal partners, and the Salton Sea Management Program is a positive step forward.”

The Salton Sea is facing an environmental and economic disaster that will affect the entire Southern California region. The lake has been slowly drying up in recent years, causing its salinity to increase and volume to decrease. As it shrinks, wind blowing across many square miles of parched shoreline will raise clouds of microscopic toxic dust – composed of salt, heavy metals and agricultural chemicals – that threatens the health of hundreds of thousands of Californians. In addition, elevated salinity is killing off fish, threatening the food supply of dozens of species of birds.

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