Battle Over a Dying Sea

Science  02 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5411, pp. 28-30
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5411.28

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SALTON SEA, CALIFORNIA-- Last year, Congress ordered the Department of Interior to consider ways to restore the Salton Sea, an engineering mistake that has become a deathtrap for wildlife, but some of the possible fixes could cost billions of dollars. Officials believe the Salton's salvation would spur tourism and create fisheries, as well as provide crucial protection for wildlife. But others question whether the accidental sea should be saved at all, given the uncertainties and huge costs of trying to manage it as a stable ecosystem. The remedy that is ultimately chosen could influence how environmental debacles are dealt with around the world.