a once-blooming resort town. From a distance, like a “mirage in the desert”, SALTON RIVIERA still appears to be a beautiful place, but close up, it is a foul and feculent place.
What happened to this lush oasis, that it stands “eerily silent” as an empty wasteland of foul smells, abandoned homes and acres of dead fish ? Disaster struck in the 1970s, when masses of fish died and floated to the surface. What was killing the 1000s of fish was quickly identified as “agricultural runoff” from local farms into the Salton Sea. The lake didn’t have enough drainage and had no ecosystems to refresh itself.
People stopped coming to the Salton Sea. Vacation homes were abandoned, resort developments stopped in mid construction. RVs, boats, spas and yacht clubs were all left behind. Today, where 1000s once lived and played, only a few 100s remain in each of the tiny shore-side communities surrounded by the ruins of vacation homes. Decades after being abandoned, the effects of water, sun and salt are clear.
The RV power hook-ups, throughout the camping sites, are like tombstones to the dead camp ground. What looks to be like an old airstream trailer has been exposed to the environment for up to 40-50years. As soon as a window broke or a crack opened, the environment entered the trailer and it became food for the environment. Like the people, dribbling away from the toxic sea, the structural elements slowly disappeared from homes.
Buildings still have some structural frames in place, but there’s not much left. Most of the recognizable materials will soon be buried deep beneath the Salton sands. On any given day, you can wander around Salton City without seeing another soul.
Over the years, plans to revitalize the area and rebuild a town to inhabit up to 40,000 were proposed and even approved by government officials, despite the obvious environmental dangers. But more years passed and the once-glamorous Riviera still remains as an “eerily silent and doomed wasteland”. ———— Ultimately, Salton City will probably go back to being the desert land it once was ———– WITH A LOT OF GARBAGE ON IT.