I feel we are all islands – in a common sea.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
On our last day of vacation in Los Angeles, we decided to head south and drive through the Anza Borrego desert on our way home. We ended up just before sunset at Bombay Beach, on the eastern shore of the Salton Sea.
The Salton Sea had some success as a resort area, however, many of the settlements have been abandoned, mostly due to the increasing salinity and pollution of the lake over the years from agricultural runoff and other sources.
Many of the species of fish that lived in the sea have been killed off by the combination of pollutants, salt levels, and algal blooms. Dead fish have been known to wash up in mass quantities on the beaches. The smell of the lake, combined with the stench of the decaying fish, also contributed to the decline of the tourist industry around the Salton Sea.
Many people now visit the Salton Sea and the surrounding settlements to explore the abandoned structures.The US Geological Survey describes the smell as “objectionable”, “noxious”, “unique”, and “pervasive”.