ITS BIGGEST SURPRISE IS THAT IT (THE SEA) EXIST AT ALL. Until 1905 it was a dry lake bed where salt was mined. And then---and then---an accident occured----an overfull Colorado River burst its banks---racing down a west-running farming canal---creating a brand new river--surging down, down, down ---260 feet below sea level filling the area with water. It evaporates at the rate of about 6 feet a year and would disappear in 10 years---EXCEPT---that now the farmers of the Imperial Valley allow the runoff of their fields to go there---almost exactly equaling the evaporation rate---so the water level holds more or less steady. Nutrients leached into it from the farms creates incredible algae blooms--food for zillions of fish----but then---but then, the growing algae depleats the oxygen level----until---- AAAAHHHGGGGG----JILLIONS OF FISH DIE---wash ashore--stink to high heaven for awhile---then next farming season---the survivors restart the whole process. With my camera shy companion, I'll go down there and show you.
I'm camped up her--on a plateau I call Overlook----below me---the BADLANDS.
Down by the sea, I examine a fish carcus. Behind me, the remains of a marina---innundated by one freakish year of high water. Developers once hoped to create a Lake Mead kind of place here but the salty water and dead fish smells did not draw the tourist---or investors. Now only a strange few live along its shores.