Desert Cahuilla Wetland

The Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians always plan for 7 generations into the future. Torres Martinez is the largest private landowner of property in and around the Salton Sea. This is their aboriginal homeland and it must be protected for those future generations of people.

In 2002 the Tribal Council decided to take a proactive approach to the transfer of water away from the Salton Sea caused by the Quantification Settlement Agreement between the State of California and 4 water agencies. This transfer of water will have huge impacts to the tribe due to volatilizing sediments in the Salton Sea bed as the sea recedes. There are 100 years of pesticides, selenium and other problematic factors in these sediments in the Sea.

Because the Salton Sea is due to be reduced by 50% starting the year 2017, they decided to allow a shallow wetland pilot project to be built using grant funding.

The first Bureau of Reclamation grant was written in 2003 for the engineering of the wetlands. Later in the year the first US EPA grant was written for the build of the project. Every year subsequently grants have been written through various agencies to sustain the wetland project.

 In 2009 the General Membership voted to allow the wetland project be allowed to be placed into the tribally Owned Non Profit. This will ensure the project and future build outs will be kept in perpetuity for future generations and visitors to enjoy.

The pilot project is 85 acres in size. It consists of 7 water quality cells and 4 habitat ponds. We anticipate opening the visitors center by 2010 and opening the project to the public for visits and events.

Currently, visits must be pre-arranged until we are fully open and operational.