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SOS: The Salton Sea Walk (2017)SOS: The Salton Sea Walk (2017)

The Salton Sea, about 120 miles east and a little north of San Diego, is the largest lake in California. For a long time now, it's been a slow motion ecological disaster. The rural lake sits 230 feet below sea level. It's the source for urban water supplies, which transfer of water is accelerating the rate at which the lake is drying. In turn, the newly exposed dry lake bed has exposed 100 years of farm chemicals that have become airborne and are polluting those same urban areas with huge, toxic dust storms. This one-hour documentary features a local activist named Randy Brown, who grew up as a little boy camping, fishing, and swimming at the Salton Sea. Brown set out to do something no one had ever attempted — to walk the entire perimeter of the crusty shoreline of the Salton Sea. In June of 2015, with temperatures reaching 120 degrees, he set out on his 6 day, 115 mile journey. The scenery is both stark and beautiful, with over 400 species of birds, boats and docks that now sit stranded hundreds of yards from the water, abandoned buildings and marinas, shorelines littered with dead fish, decimated lake communities, etc. This film won numerous small festival awards.  I watched it on Amazon Streaming. For more on the Salton Sea debacle, see the article "The Dying Sea," The New Yorker (April 27, 2015).

Dan Clendenin:

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