The Salton Sea is already so saline that tilapia is the only species of fish that is still reproducing. If the sea gets much saltier, even the tilapia will fail to reproduce. The result will be a literally dead sea.
More than 300 species of birds live at least part of the year at the Salton Sea, and a million eared grebes winter there. The sight of hundreds of thousands of birds sets the hearts of bird watchers aflutter.
Last weekend, we saw an estimated 5,000 snow geese, 2,000 white pelicans, 1,000 Northern pintails and 1,000 white-faced ibis. But if the sea becomes too salty to support the tilapia or the pileworms that they feed upon, the sea will cease to be a refuge for those throngs of birds. The sea needs water from the Colorado River to survive.