To the editor: Thank you for your plea to save the Salton Sea. I would have gone further in emphasizing its importance to birds, not just in migration, but year-round. ("Saving the Salton Sea is smart environmental policy," editorial, March 15)
Just as the Salton Sea acts as a substitute for the former Lake Tulare on the Pacific Flyway, it acts as a substitute for the former Colorado River Delta in Mexico. Due to diversions for U.S. cities and farms, the river dries up at the border, never reaching the Gulf of California. Adding insult to injury, California has lost more than 95% of its coastal wetlands.
Visit the Salton Sea, and you will see more birds than you have ever seen before. It's a treasure we can't afford to lose.
Russell Stone, Westchester
To the editor: The shortage of salt water can be addressed by letting gravity feed water into the Salton Sea from the nearby Sea of Cortes, separated from the lake only by a short distance of desert and agricultural land.
The drying up of the Salton Sea was foreseen when I was the U.S. ambassador in Mexico under President Carter. Exploratory talks with Mexican officials suggested a bi-national effort to pipe in water was very feasible. With permission from Mexico for the water to cross its land, the costs to the U.S. would be negligible, considering the benefits of saving the Salton Sea.
It makes no sense to see the lake dry up with an ocean next door.
Julian Nava, Valley Center, Calif.
The writer was U.S. ambassador to Mexico from 1980-1981.
To the editor: The Salton Sea is the nasty remnant of a human engineering mistake. We don't have enough water to fix it. Let it dry out.
Cover it with enough gravel to prevent noxious dust from blowing all around the southwest. On top of that, build a massive solar energy plant.
Use the power to desalinate Pacific Ocean seawater. Use some of that water to re-create a sustainable wetland habitat.
Steve Robinson, Los Angeles