Wake up to a hot cup of complimentary coffee brewed in the in-room coffee
maker as well as utilize the full kitchen available in many rooms. Don't
forget the scenic views!
Guests enjoy rooms with expanded cable TVs, comfortable beds with new comforters,
as well as the convenience of a blow dryer, microwave, refrigerator,
and top of the line bath towels and bath amenities.
Sea and Sun Motel, with its scenic views, is conveniently located just a
few blocks away from the beautiful Salton Sea with its many recreational
activities such as bird watching, fishing, boating, camping, and hiking.
In addition, guests at the Sea and Sun Motel may choose to enjoy the
Red Earth Casino, which can be found only two miles away.
One of the attractions of the Sea is the abundance of life, manifested in the hundreds of
species of birds that reside in, or visit, this important wetland habitat.
The Sea teems with fish. That is why some scientists have called the Salton Sea
“California’s crown jewel of avian biodiversity” and perhaps the most productive
fishery in the world.
This abundance of wildlife is particularly critical given the decline of wetlands.
Over 90 percent of the wetlands of California have been lost. As California's wetlands
decline, the importance of the Sea as a habitat for inland wetland species increases.
The Sea's habitats support up to 40 percent of the entire US population of the threatened
Yuma clapper rail, 80 to 90 percent of the American white pelican, and 90 percent of
the eared grebe.
Besides the opportunity for bird watching and for fishing, the Salton Sea and its
immediate vicinity offer recreational opportunities including boating, camping,
off-roading, hiking, use of personal watercraft and photography. One of the attractions,
the Salton Sea State Recreation Area, has 1,400 campsites in five campgrounds, hundreds
of picnic sites, trails, playgrounds, boat ramps and a visitors' center.
The Sea's Vital Statistics:
The Salton Sea, located in the southeastern corner of California, is actually a lake which
occupies a desert basin known as the Salton Sink. This body of water covers a surface
area of 376 square miles, making it larger than Lake Tahoe and Mono Lake. In fact,
the Salton Sea is the largest lake in California. The Sea’s current elevation is
about 227 feet below mean sea level, its maximum depth reaches 51 feet and its total
volume is about 7.5 million acre-feet.
The Salton Sea has a unique make-up. By virtue of its location in the Colorado Desert
ecosystem, an area with average annual precipitation of less than 3 inches per year,
the Sea receives minimal inflow from rain.
As an agricultural drainage reservoir, the Salton Sea serves an important purpose for the
productive agricultural valleys that adjoin it. As an agricultural sump, the Sea consists
primarily of commercial agricultural drainage. In fact, 90 percent of the entire inflow
to the Sea is agricultural runoff from the Imperial, Coachella, and Mexicali Valleys.
This inflow carries nutrients, such as phosphates and nitrates, which support the rich and
abundant life in the Sea. The inflow also carries an abundance of salt (and, thus,
the Sea's name). Currently, the salinity level of the Salton Sea is 44 parts per
thousand (ppt), compared to 280 ppt for Utah’s Great Salt Lake, about 210 ppt
for Israel's Dead Sea, 87 ppt for Mono Lake and 35 ppt for the Pacific Ocean.
The Sea's Challenges
The very things that make this lake so unique and such a rich source of abundant life are
placing the Sea's existence at risk. The nutrients that provide such an abundant source
of food for fish are at levels that alter the available oxygen in the water.
Its salt content, which causes water vessels to be more buoyant, and thus the
fastest lake in the nation to boat upon, is compromising the reproductive ability of
fish and, thus, their survival. Without fish, the hundreds of species of birds that
rely on fish for food, and the economic status of the Sea as a productive fishery,
would be threatened.
Its unique feature of being a shallow, closed basin renders it vulnerable to increases or
reductions in inflows, which can dramatically change its elevation. During the 70s,
heavier than usual precipitation combined with expansion of irrigation caused lake
levels to rise, flooding tribal reservation and wildlife refuge land, seaside dwellings,
and marinas and boat facilities. Sea levels have now stabilized with inflows equaling
evaporation. The proposed transfer of water from the Imperial Valley to San Diego as
part of the reduction of California's Colorado River use, the possible reclamation of
New River water by Mexico, and the increased evaporation from the Sea's restoration
all threaten to reduce lake levels. The transfer of the proposed 300,000 acre feet
alone, if inflows are not replaced, is estimated to drop lake levels by over 16 feet,
exposing almost 70 square miles of sediments. The result could be potential air
quality problems caused by blowing dust, seaside homes stranded far from the Sea,
and greatly accelerated concentrations of salts and nutrients.
Restoration on the Horizon
The Salton Sea Authority has recognized the Sea's challenges and has begun the
restoration process, to not only sustain the Sea, but also revitalize it as an
environmental and economic wellspring. The Salton Sea Authority, along with the U.S.
Department of Interior's Bureau of Reclamation, has begun efforts to maintain the
Sea as an agricultural drainage reservoir, restore the wildlife resources and habitats,
stimulate recreational use, and provide an environment for economic development.