The Red Hill Bay Wetland Restoration Project
Holding Agencies Accountable
The Red Hill Bay Wetland Restoration Project was a State and Federally funded project to restore ~420 acres of shallow water habitat at Red Hill Bay Marina in the southeast corner of the Salton Sea. The project broke ground in November, 2015 as a collaboration between the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Imperial Irrigation District.
Lithium recovery from geothermal brine 6,000 feet below the southeast corner of the Salton Sea has become an opportunity of great interest with investments from large companies. The land under Red Hill Bay is a part of this opportunity. "The boundaries of the restoration project have been established based on discussions with Cal Energy (geothermal leaseholder) to ensure that the proposal will not adversely affect subsurface development of their mineral interests." Recently, the IID chose to dismantle the project and replace it with dry dust mitigation.
We propose that IID sell the surface rights only, of the land to the Fish and Wildlife Service, while retaining mineral & geothermal rights so the project can be completed by the Federal Government using $3.3 million in State funds that have already been awarded.