Salton City – Environmental, Economical Disaster Remnants

Salton City, Calif. is a failed resort city established in the late 1950s. Roads were constructed, ammenities were built, but no one bought houses in the master-planned community. The death of the city came when the corporation that started the venture, the Holly Sugar Corp., supposedly bailed on the project when it didn’t seem profitable enough. Combined with rising salt levels in the sea and a pair of tropical storms hitting the area, the dream of building a vacation lifestyle community in the stark heat of the Imperial Valley was shattered.

Today, driven to the Sea by low prices and a slumping economy, some have built small trailer homes on land that was supposed to be reserved for pristine vacation houses. The poor condition of the sea water has led to an environmental downfall, which makes the desire to live in such an area questionable.

Several times I read about Salton City, Calif. online and wanted to take a visit. Recently, I was able to. The sights and smells were incredible and disgusting: paltry life and a wasted environment. The sand isn’t made of rocks. It’s made of weathered and broken-down fish skeletons. This environmental damage has been reoccurring for decades.

Below are some pictures from the trip. It made me wonder what would happen to our world if corporations defined what life-ventures were profitable or not. It seems that a community founded entirely by a corporation is almost always destined for failure and downfall.

Sources and further reading:

Rudyland Blog – Salton Sea: What Went Wrong?

Salton City – Wikipedia

“Plagues & Pleasures” – Salton Sea Documentary

About The Author

Kyle Anderson
I'm a media and IT professional and JavaScript developer who worked most recently as an Associate Broadcast IT Engineer (Tier II) for CNN in Atlanta. One of my life-long goals is to help bridge data divides - missing connections between software systems and data stores - promoting inter-system communication and automation. Many of the projects described here reflect this goal in some way or another.