The Ghost Lake of the Desert


For the first lecture in our new Wild Coachella series, which investigates the history and habitat of our desert, let's take a trip back in time to the origin of the Salton Sea, California’s largest lake. On this historical side: The Salton Sea's genesis is commonly attributed to the accidental failure of irrigation canals from the Colorado River. However, this lake is merely the latest incarnation of a series dating back several million years, ever since the Colorado River delta cut the Salton Trough from the Gulf of California. Andrew Bishop, associate professional researcher with the UCR EDGE Institute he geological history of these ancient lakes is preserved by the sediments which they left behind. On the habitat side: More species of birds have been recorded for the Salton Sea than any other National Wildlife Refuges in the US. Not only is it a magnet for birds, it may also be a critical migratory stepping stone, where many of the other stones are now missing. Recent increases in the Sea's salinity, along with losses in fish and shore-side habitats, have resulted in deteriorating habitat for all species. Chris Schoneman of the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Complex will explore whether current proposed solutions for maintaining some habitat into the future hold promise for success. This series is facilitated by Cameron Barrows of the UCR Center for Conservation Biology and Colin Barrows of Friends of the Desert Mountains. This lecture exploring the history and habitat of the Salton Sea will be presented by Andrew Bishop, associate professional researcher, UCR EDGE Institute, and Chris Schoneman of the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Complex.