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Environmentalists Challenge Salton Sea Development Project

David McNew/Getty Images

MECCA, CA – MARCH 21: A great blue heron stands on the shore of the Salton Sea an area where a controversial development would create a new town for nearly 40,000 people on the northwest shore of the biggest lake in California, the Salton Sea, on March 21, 2012 south of Mecca, California. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club have filed a lawsuit against Riverside County after the Board of Supervisors approved a record-sized development project for Riverside County, saying that it would increase pollution and threaten wildlife in nearby parks at the Salton Sea and in the largest state park in California, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Though massive fish die-offs occur annually, drawings in the Travertine Point plans feature peaceful marinas but the lake has been plagued by dropping water levels and increasing salt levels for decades. Scientists say that a catastrophic decline in the fish population is inevitable and a resulting 25 to 50 percent drop in the migratory bird population will destroy a major stopping point in the Pacific bird migration route. The shrinking salt lake is exposing more and more fine dust, posing health problem as blows it across the region. Funding to stop the ecological collapse of the sea is not likely in the near futures with its $9 billion price tag. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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