~ FEBRUARY 28TH, 2018 ~

“The worst environmental disaster in US history is quickly approaching, yet very little is being done to stop it. A casualty of the “water wars” in the Southwest, California’s largest lake is disappearing. The receding Salton Sea reveals a toxic mix of fine dust and chemicals that is threatening the health of millions. The Salton Sea has reached its breaking point, and time is running out.” {From Breaking Point – Documentary on the Salton Sea Crisis}
EVENT LOCATION: Highlander Union Building (HUB) North 302
DATE: Wednesday, February 28th
TIME: 5:30-7:30PM
Please Join The 28ers & UCR’s The EDGE Institute as well as the Coachella Valley Organizer and Activist, Lorraine Salas, to discuss the peak crisis of dirty money buying up what remains of the Salton Sea, and how money in politics will once again have catostraphic effects to millions of humans, birds and fish as its water is sucked away to places who can pay for it (looking at you San Diego County). We will also look at the scientific reasons why this is such a complex and pressing issue in the Southlands, and as such the Director of The EDGE Institute, Dr. Marilyn Fogel, will explain the dire need for education, awareness, action and the dire need for a Salton Sea Research Project. Also in attendance will be Chuck Parker and Feliz Nunez, community organizers who have been heavily involved with this issue. We plan on showing the documentary “Breaking Point” and having a discussion about how we can organize to Save the Salton Sea from completely disappearing.
5:30-6:00: Viewing an Excerpt of the Film “Breaking Point”
6:00-6:30: Stories from Victims of the Crisis
6:30-7:00: Introducing Roundtable Speakers
7:00-7:30: Questions and Answers from the Audience
LORRAINE SALAS is in her 13th year teaching 5th and 6th grade students at an elementary school located 10 miles from the Salton Sea. She graduated from Pitzer College with a B.A. in Sociology, under the guidance of Professor Jose Calderon. While at Pitzer she volunteered for the United Farm Workers in 2003. She returned to activism in 2012 when the Occupy movement swept across the country. Since then she has supported numerous causes that seek systemic changes. She has recently learned of the current water transfer happening in 2017 and hopes to campaign for a long term plan for the Salton Sea.
DR. MARILYN FOGEL is the Director the EDGE Institute, and the recently endowed Wilbur W. Mayhew Chair–given in large part to gracious donors who are passionate about safe-guarding the fragile ecosystem of the Southwest, and hope to see this special region of the world thrive while enduring the tremendous problems that climate change poses to this area. Dr. Mayhew is a pioneering ecologist, UCR faculty member, and co-founder of the UC Natural Reserves System.
DR. KINGSLEY ODIGIE is a University of California Chancellor’s postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). Prior to working at UCR, he completed a Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology at the University of California, Santa Cruz and worked at the U.S. Geological Survey in Santa Cruz, California. He is presently studying the fluxes of toxic metals in the Salton Sea Basin.
KERRY F. MORRISON is the Founder & Executive Director of The EcoMedia Compass. He grew up in Southern California, with a deep appreciation for the natural environment and our interconnectedness. He shares a background in event planning, management, multimedia production & the arts, coupled by extensive environmental studies and outreach. He has attended 7 colleges for various studies in environment, psychology, multimedia & studio work and has a degree in multimedia communications/public relations from California State Universities Fullerton and San Marcos. In 2011 he and a group of volunteers founded The EcoMedia Compass, to bring awareness and education for environmental solutions through music, art, science and community. Morrison spends most of his time at the Salton Sea, fascinated by the unique beauty, biodiversity and need for help surrounding the region.
DR. MATTHEW SNYDER is a Continuing Lecturer in the University Writing Program at UCR, and is a writer and activist, as well as a co-host of the recently launched podcast, The Future Is A Mixtape (www.thefutureisamixtape.com). He will talk about his organization, The 28ers, detailing how this movement surfaced from the ashes of Occupy Riverside in 2012, and the things he and fellow Occupiers have learned along the way after generating over five years of non-stop events every 28th of the month in the Inland Empire. The 28ers’ ultimate goal is to pass a 28th Amendment to the US constitution and forever sever private wealth from politics by creating exclusive public financing for all federal elections. Dr. Matthew Snyder will also talk about how The 28ers’ monthly events–like this event on the Salton Sea–can be the basis for a national big-tent movement as this non-profit hopes to expand city-to-city, state-to-state and lead the charge toward a one-vote, one-voice democracy.
DR. WILLIAM PORTER is an Assistant Professor of atmospheric dynamics and modeling in the Department of Environmental Sciences at UCR. His work focuses on understanding the emissions, chemistry, movement, and ultimate fate of air pollution, especially with respect to changes in policy, land use, and climate. As a member of UCR’s BREATHE Center (Bridging Regional Ecology and Aerosolized Toxins to understand Health Effects), Dr. Porter is interested in examining the evolution of dust composition and emissions from the Salton Sea area, as well as the implications for human health and environmental justice in the Coachella Valley region. Through ongoing observation and modeling efforts, Dr. Porter hopes to contribute to the development of solutions that will most positively impact the longterm human health outcomes and ecological integrity of the Salton Sea region.
“Long before the breach in a levee of the Colorado River created the current Salton Sea, this part of Southern California was filled with natural waters that created lakes many times during the past several thousand years. Salton Sea offered the Native people who lived on its shores food, a pleasant place to live, and a ready source of water. Birds migrating from the Arctic stopped here historically.
In 2003, legal decisions regarding the current Salton Sea determined that water that currently flows into the Salton basin are now to be diverted to San Diego. The lake’s current salinity is almost double that of ocean water. As a greater proportion of water is diverted, the salinity will continue to increase resulting in the possible extinction of the remaining two fish species: tilapia and the endangered desert pupfish.
Deep water in Salton Sea often has almost no oxygen, which promotes bacteria that can form noxious gases. When strong winds blow through this area, deep waters are churned up releasing these gases. Periodic noxious gas release events also coincide with massive die offs of the tilapia. Rotting fish, noxious gases, as well as potentially polluted water, have given the Salton Sea a bad reputation.
Government agencies have introduced complex plans for managing the Salton Sea, primarily for birds and toxic dust mitigation from areas of exposed, dried lake-bed. Faculty and researchers at University of California at Riverside are developing a plan to examine the past, present, and future of the Salton Sea to learn more about its natural functions with the goal of advising how its future might unfold based on sound scientific evidence and insight.”
— -Dr. Marilyn Fogel, The Director of The EDGE Institute
WHAT IS THE EDGE (Environmental Dynamics and GeoEcology) INSTITUTE?
“Global climate and environmental change, and the resulting degradation of ecosystems, pose some of the most vexing issues facing society today. While there is consensus among scientists that such change is happening, the coordinated interdisciplinary approach that would point toward solutions remains controversial in some circles. UCR’s College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS) will be working towards building a team charged with studying some of these concerns through the Environmental Dynamics and GeoEcology (EDGE) Institute.
The EDGE Institute aims to examine plant, animal, and microbial life in our changing environment, focusing on, for example, carbon cycling from molecules to organisms, nutrients, and water at various temporal and spatial scales. The institute is unique in that it will bring together scientists from the biological, chemical, earth, and environmental sciences to examine specific questions and enable scientific discovery. Other ecological centers tend to reflect only the view of life sciences and do not go back in time by including analyses of the geological record. Never has our Institute’s mission for the study of human impacts on the Earth system and our role in educating the public and our leaders been more important.
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Matthew Snyder
Co-Founder of The 28ers
C0-Host of THE FUTURE IS A MIXTAPE (Podcast)

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