Sunny Days on the Salton Sea – Desert Magazine (December 2011)

Frightening potential environmental impacts and mind-numbing economic analyses dominate the conversation about the Salton Sea these days. But there was a time when the sea’s great gift as a vast recreational resource for the valley was much easier to fathom-before the drastic reduction in water volume and quality dimmed its allure. Picture it: According to a Time Magazine article, the sea’s North Shore Yacht Club once boasted the largest marina in California, and the sea hosted more visitors during some years than Yosemite National Park.

In 1905 there was a deluge that caused the mighty Colorado River to spill over its banks and flow into the ancient Salton Sink. The escaping water raced along manmade irrigation ditches that took the Southern Pacific Railroad almost two years to repair-during which the countless lost gallons of water, measured in millions of acre-feet, created the Salton Sea.
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