OASIS – Riverside and Imperial County officials signed an agreement on Monday commemorating the Memorandum of Understanding the two counties reached recently to work collaboratively to preserve and restore the Salton Sea.

“This is a major breakthrough in our efforts to further Salton Sea restoration,” Riverside County Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez said in a prepared statement. “This agreement, the first two-county Memorandum of Understanding on the Salton Sea, brings unified support and commitment for the work that’s needed at the Salton Sea.”

You may read the Memorandum of Understanding here. 

Nearly a year ago, Supervisor Perez introduced the North Lake Vision in a joint press conference with the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, which released a report on the economic benefits of a revitalized Salton Sea. The North Lake plan would protect the Riverside County portion of the Salton Sea by constructing an in-sea barrier around the contours of the northern shoreline with a deep lake.

In October, the North Lake plan took a major step forward with the Riverside County supervisors’ approval of the creation of an Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD) to finance this infrastructure.

As Riverside County pursues a North Lake plan and fast-tracks its efforts through the EIFD, Imperial County is supportive of a Perimeter Lake concept, which would include a South Lake component. With this MOU, both counties are working toward the North Lake and South Lake plans as well as a Perimeter Lake, which will resemble a flowing river with a system of low profile levees bordering the Salton Sea shoreline.

The MOU ensures that these projects work in conjunction, complement the state’s efforts and are integrated into the 10-year Salton Sea Management Plan.

Salton

Supervisor V. Manuel Perez (second from left) was joined in the signing ceremony by all five Imperial County supervisors, from left to right, Board Chairman Raymond Castillo, Supervisors Luis Plancarte, John Renison, Ryan Kelley and Michael Kelley.

Supervisor Perez and Imperial County Board Chairman Raymond Castillo spoke at the signing ceremony, which was held at Travertine Point in the Riverside County community of Oasis.

The entire Imperial County Board of Supervisors was present, as well as representatives from the offices of U.S. Reps. Raul Ruiz and Juan Vargas, State Sen. Ben Hueso and State Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia.

Video of the signing ceremony is available on Supervisor Perez’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/VManuelPerez4th.