Salton Sea’s Bombay Beach on a trip with our students.
In the 1950s and 60s, Bombay Beach was a thriving resort around California’s largest lake – the Salton Sea. It was created by accident when the Colorado River overflowed in 1905, creating a 350-square-mile lake. Developers called it a ‘miracle in the desert’, as hotels, houses, and yacht clubs appeared along the coast.
However, the Salton Sea had no drainage and almost no yearly rainfall, so by the end of the 70s, it was polluted and saltier than the Pacific Ocean. Fish living in the sea died from a lack of oxygen and washed ashore.
Today, abandoned beach houses, boat carcasses, and an old drive-in theater populate the barren landscape, surrounding the homes of the 250 remaining residents of Bombay Beach.