Stunning Images of the Shrinking Salton Sea

Once-bustling marinas in California's largest lake are now bone-dry.

14 photos
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Biologist Tom Anderson of the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Refuge Complex steers an airboat across the shallow waters of the Salton Sea.
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This May 1, 2015 aerial file photo shows the exposed lake bed of the Salton Sea evaporating near Niland, Calif. California officials have proposed spending nearly $400 million over 10 years to slow the shrinkage of the state's largest lake. Gov. Jerry Brown's administration on Thursday, March 16, 2017 unveiled a plan to build ponds on the northern and southern ends of the Salton Sea. It's expected to evaporate at an accelerated pace starting next year when the San Diego region no longer diverts water to the desert region. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)
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Oxygen-starved tilapia float in a shallow Salton Sea bay. Often called the "The Accidental Sea," because it was created when the Colorado River breached a dike in 1905.
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Steam rises from geothermal mud pots near the banks of the Salton Sea near Niland, California, evidence of the region's vast geothermal activity.
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Sunlight reflects off irrigated fields near Mesquite, California.
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In this April 29, 2015, photo, farmer Al Kalin walks back to his truck on his farm near Westmorland, Calif. Kalin, who farms 1,800 acres near the Salton Seas's southern shores, installed sprinklers and other water saving measures to replace flood irrigation over the last five years. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
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An abandoned motel sits on the edge on of the Salton Sea in late 2006. The Salton Sea, California's largest lake, was created in 1905 when floodwaters from the Colorado River burst past a series of dams.
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Palm trees destroyed in earlier flooding line the banks of the Salton Sea.
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A dead tilapia floats among algae in a shallow Salton Sea bay near Niland, California.
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Bruce Wilcox of the Imperial Irrigation District speaks in front of cracked, exposed Salton Sea lakebed.
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Irrigated citrus trees sit surrounded by bone-dry land near Westmorland, California. The Imperial Valley's half-million acres of verdant fields end abruptly in pale dirt that gets three inches of rain annually on average.
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Biologist Tom Anderson makes a call along the receding banks of the Salton Sea.
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Biologist Tom Anderson steers an airboat across the shallow waters of the Salton Sea, often called the "The Accidental Sea."
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Ed Victoria sits under an umbrella as he fishes for tilapia along the receding banks of the Salton Sea near Bombay Beach, California.
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