The Coachella Valley of California is my home and was completed in awe and near the stunning Salton Sea.
My community is proud of the traditions, unique desert landscapes and vibrant culture that make our valley a special place.
But over the years, as our leaders fail to act, California’s largest inland lake, Salton Sea, is dying and people are getting sick.
For decades we lived under a cloud of dangerous pollutants from the dry bottom of Lake Salton.
For us, lifestyle was already compromised before COVID-19.
Nosebleeds, asthma attacks, and chronic respiratory complications harm our children, the elderly, and many others who live here.
And recently, the area has faced dangerous heat waves and historic droughts.
These “100 years of climate disasters” have become commonplace. Do you want to see these preventable tragedy in our country?
Everyone has the right to live, grow and raise their children in a community where there are no environmental or health hazards.
Today, Mother Earth is calling on us to help restore land and water bodies to prevent the worst climate crisis and improve our health in the process.
Both the Biden and Newsom administrations have approved efforts to protect 30% of land and water by 2030 (known as “30×30”).
We already know that the Salton Sea was once a prosperous natural landscape.
By prioritizing recovery, you can achieve 30×30. At the same time, it improves local health, supports the local economy, and benefits California as a whole.
Currently, the state is still negotiating an annual budget, and we need the governor and the legislature to send the resources urgently needed for the restoration of the Salton Sea.
More funding ensures that the project is built quickly enough to deal with the oncoming environmental and public health catastrophes at sea.
And it’s a thing of the past that the Newsom administration has prioritized meetings with community members living next to the ocean to identify and fund projects to improve public health and restore natural landscapes.
There is no substitute for the voice and experience of the community. Our opinion needs to focus on all future plans for the Salton Sea.
When it comes to state priorities, the Eastern Coachella Valley has long been historically and tragically overlooked.
Basic infrastructure gap
Often, our towns have basic infrastructure such as streetlights, abundant nature such as trees that help absorb pollutants in the air, and adequate medical and social services for community members. There is a shortage.
In rural agricultural communities, many families and neighbors continued to do essential work despite the pandemic surge.
Many of these same workers are scraped off with unlivable wages and inadequate medical care.
Almost a quarter of the people living in unincorporated towns such as Mecca and Oasis live without insurance.
The serious underinvestment pattern and the reality of our dangerous environment have revealed how catastrophic the public health crisis can be.
But now we have the opportunity to save important waters, improve community health and climate resilience, and fulfill the promises of a better future for the next generation.
This year must be the turning point of Lake Salton.
It requires true commitment and follow-through from Governor Gavin Newsom and his administration. To meet with the eastern Coachella Valley community and urgently resource projects to help protect 30×30, improve public health and restore the Salton Sea.
Conchita Pozar is a community advocate for the North Shore community.
With climate imperiled, the Salton Sea needs us – Press Enterprise Source link With climate imperiled, the Salton Sea needs us – Press Enterprise