Ohlone Audubon Society

Serving Southern and Eastern Alameda County


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Virtual March Membership Meeting: Salton Sea: A Looming Crisis, Andrea Jones
Tuesday 01 March 2022, 07:30pm
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About the Presentation:
The Salton Sea, an inland saline lake covering 330 square miles in southern California, is a critically endangered Important Bird Area that hosts almost two-thirds of California’s bird species.
For years, irrigation run-off water in the Imperial Valley fed the sea. But in 2003, a deal was struck to divert more than 400,000 acre-feet of water that once flowed to the Salton Sea to San Diego and Coachella for urban uses. In 2018, water provided to the Salton Sea as mitigation for the 2003 deal will be shut off, meaning the sea will shrink even further.

Starting in 2017, the Salton Sea is predicted to loose 40% of the water currently flowing into it. It will drop by 20 feet and expose 100 square miles of dust-generating lake bottom. The region’s strong winds will create contaminated dust clouds, worsening the already poor air quality in the region for more than 650,000 residents. Salinity in the lake will triple, eliminating its fishery that provides value to birds.

About the Presenter:
Our speaker Andrea Jones is Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon California. She will highlight why the Salton Sea is so important that almost 400 species of birds use its habitats. She will also describe which species are most threatened by a changing Sea and what species are actually benefitting from its current condition. She will also discuss current restoration projects and the positive impacts those will have on bird species and other wildlife.
Jones will discuss past efforts to “restore” the sea and describe how Audubon is engaging currently in a new solution for the Salton Sea that will be beneficial to both birds and people.

For the past 15 years, Andrea Jones has led conservation programs and worked with staff and the network of Audubon chapters across the state to implement conservation projects at high priority Important Bird Areas (IBAs). She oversees Audubon’s efforts in priority bird species and serves as the spokeswoman for bird conservation across California.

Prior to Audubon California, Andrea worked at Massachusetts Audubon where she served as the Director of the Coastal Waterbird Program. Andrea received her M.S. in Wildlife Conservation/Ornithology and her B.S. in Wildlife Biology and Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is a past board member of Morro Coast Audubon and currently resides in the East Bay of San Francisco.



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