The Salton Sea 2018: Of Dust and Water

The Project

The first time I photographed the Salton Sea in Southern California, I viewed it as most visitors do. Dead fish on the shore and abandoned buildings with a post apocalyptic look.

But there was also something much more there. As a documentary photographer, I also saw a place of desolate and haunting beauty, in spite of its decline. I saw the realities (and failings) of state dust remediation pilot projects attempting to find solutions for the toxic dust filling the air.

This book documents the Salton Sea and remediation projects in 2018, the first full year after mandated water transfers to the lake ended. These water transfers began in 2003, with the intent to complete dust remediation projects to control the ever increasing dust caused by dry lake bed exposure before agreement ended in December of 2017. The projects were not completed.

California's largest lake will now recede at an unprecedented rate, with no real solution for the looming health crisis in the Imperial Valley of California.

The Book

  • Finished size of 10.5" x 8" with, approximately 110 pages, and 55 images.
  • The book includes a brief history of the Salton Sea, as well as an overview of dust remediation projects and water sources still flowing to the lake.
  • Forward by Mark Murrmann, photo editor at Mother Jones.
The Salton Sea 2018: Of Dust and Water
Site of Future Red Hill Marina Wetlands Project
The Salton Sea 2018: Of Dust and Water
Beautiful Decay
The Salton Sea 2018: Of Dust and Water
Pilot Project Surface Roughening Furrows to Control Dust

Some premiums include prints I brought to the Salton Sea in early 2019. At Red Hill Marina, near the Alamo River, I affixed dust from the Salton Sea to the prints - making the print a part of the Sea.

The Salton Sea 2018: Of Dust and Water
The Salton Sea 2018: Of Dust and Water

Salton Sea: of Dust and Water, will be published by Daylight Books in the Spring of 2020. Daylight is a nonprofit organization dedicated to publishing art and photography books. By exploring the documentary mode along with the more conceptual concerns of fine art, Daylight’s uniquely collectible publications work to revitalize the relationship between art, photography, and the world at large.