[California Lithium-rich Salton Sea] The green treasure below a toxic lake – by Jean-François Bélanger (CBC News – March 31, 2024)


The place is as little-known as it is majestic. It’s a deep blue lake bordered by the desert and mountain ranges as far as the eye can see. As the largest body of water in California, the Salton Sea used to be a favorite vacation hotspot for Hollywood stars back in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis and the Marx brothers were among the regulars. The Beach Boys as well.

This is what drew Donna Winters to settle in Desert Shores, about 130 kilometres east of San Diego, a quarter of a century ago. The retiree, in her 80s, keeps very fond memories of her first years here. Her once-lakefront home had stunning views.

“We bought here because we wanted to live at the beach and it was like living at the beach. It was awesome!” she remembered. “The children would jump into the water from the dock and swim…. And we had a canoe. And the kids used to go in the canoe over there into the sea.” But the floating dock in front of her house and the canals dug around it now seem pointless. The small Desert Shores marina offers nothing but a sad spectacle of desolation, dust and decay.

For the rest of this article: https://www.cbc.ca/newsinteractives/features/lithium-valley