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Congressman Raul Ruiz

Representing the 36th District of California

Dr. Ruiz Leads Fight for Federal Funding for the Salton Sea

January 15, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Representative Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) is urging the Department of Agriculture to support the State of California’s funding request for the Salton Sea. In a letter led by Dr. Ruiz and sent Wednesday to the Secretary Sonny Perdue, Rep. Ruiz, Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51), Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) urged a $7 million award to be used for construction of the Species Conservation Habitat (SCH) Project, which would create more than 3,000 acres of wildlife habitat at the Salton Sea. Work on the SCH project is expected to begin in 2020 and is the second major project as part of the State’s Salton Sea Management Program (SSMP).

“I am fighting to bring more federal dollars to the Salton Sea,” said Dr. Ruiz. “A strong federal-state partnership is the key to success, and I will continue working to prevent the impending public health crisis at the Salton Sea.”

“There is no doubt that additional funding is needed to protect the public from an environmental and health crisis at the Salton Sea,” said Rep. Vargas. “I am pleased to support the California Department of Water Resources and their application for funding to facilitate critical restoration projects and public health benefits for the Salton Sea and surrounding communities.”

Background

Earlier this week Congressman Ruiz met with the Salton Sea Authority to talk about strengthening the coalition of local, state, and federal partners to prevent harmful dust exposure at the Salton Sea.

In Congress, Dr. Ruiz has prioritized protecting the public from this environmental hazard. Dr. Ruiz brokered a $30 million federal funding commitment for the Salton Sea, pushed for the groundbreaking of the Red Hill Bay project, and protected the long-term water supply for the Salton Sea through legislation in 2019.

Earlier this Congress, Dr. Ruiz called for a Congressional hearing on the federal responsibility for managing and mitigating the declining water levels and dust exposure at the Salton Sea.