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Salton Sea sanctuary

Debi Livesay, head of water resources for the Torres Martinez Indian tribe, stands on the northern edge of the Salton Sea that is a part of the reservation. Livesay is in charge of a wetlands restoration project that’s attracting an abundance of waterfowl to the ecologically troubled watershed. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Tmes)
Graceful white pelicans take flight along with black coots and gray sea gulls. Thousands of the gregarious pelicans live on the wetlands, which is home to about 400 species of birds. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Joe Tortes opens a valve to raise the water level in a pond. Tortes was born on the Torres Martinez reservation and works on the restoration project, helping regulate pond levels. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
A great blue heron alights on a tree where several nests perch. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Francisco Arcaute of the Environmental Protection Agency captures footage during a tour of the wetlands restoration project. The site is on the Torres Martinez reservation, one of the most polluted in the West. But recent efforts by the tribe and the EPA are helping reverse the effects of illegal dumping. (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
Fresh water is pumped into the restoration site. Debi Livesay says there are plans to open the wetlands to the public in November under the name “California’s Everglades.” (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
Debi Livesay takes a visitor for a walk on a new pathway where naturally-occurring salt coats the soil. When the wildlife sanctuary is completed, bird lovers will be able to stroll along berms around dozens of pond habitats created to attract waterfowl. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)