Salton Sea Community, Economic, and Environment Fund (SSCEEF)

The SSCEEF Fund was established in 2022 to support the critically urgent social, economic, and environmental resilience of the Salton Sea and surrounding communities. The fund will support science-based, data-driven approaches to environmental, social, and economic development of the Salton Sea Region through 1) the creation of action plans generated from a diverse group of community-based organizations, environmental groups, policy organizations, and others in their Salton projects; and 2) funding these collaborations to bring shared expertise and interests together to remediate the Salton Sea region.

“ The Salton Sea’s increasing salinity is killing off wildlife and its receding shoreline is exposing communities in Riverside and Imperial counties to toxic fumes…Once a hot tourist destination, experts say the Salton Sea has become the worst environmental and public health crisis in modern history.” ~ CNBC’s article Ghost towns and toxic fumes: How an idyllic California lake became a disaster in 2021.

Now, there is reason for hope of progress:

  • The rapidly declining conditions have made the Salton Sea an immediate problem, not one which can be pushed down the road, bringing government and public attention to the immediacy of the problem and the rapidly deteriorating conditions.
  • The State of California has allocated some $500M of bond funding to short-term (10-year) projects to begin remediation of the conditions around the Sea.
  • A vast quantity of lithium, essential for batteries used in homes and electric vehicles — has been discovered below the Sea. This reservoir of lithium — which could meet the needs of the United States for 60 years —can be recovered in an environmentally friendly way and can provide billions of dollars of tax revenue to the region, spur significant economic growth in the creation of businesses and jobs and provide financial resources to implement solutions to remediate the Sea and invigorate the surrounding region.
  • Environmental groups, community organizations, governments, businesses, and community leaders are beginning to recognize that the issues of the Salton Sea extend beyond its shores to the surrounding Imperial and Coachella Valley communities, which are largely underserved by governments, philanthropic organizations, and businesses.

What are the benefits of the SSCEEF?

  • Learn about the impact of the Salton Sea in our region.
  • Participate in advocating for building consensus and shared principles to move viable projects forward.
  • Support a participatory grant model that brings together all stakeholders to strategically support sustainable evidence-based progress for the Salton Sea.
  • Combine your gift with others to enhance impact.
  • Network with others who are philanthropically minded and living their passion to meaningfully improve the Inland Empire environment starting with the Salton Sea.
  • Develop a collaborative model of regional problem-solving which can be used in other underserved areas.

To learn more about the Fund, download the SSCEEF PDF

“Our choice is really simple: we can either sit on our hands, say the Salton Sea issues are too big or too complex, and leave the growing crisis to our children and grandchildren … or, we can come together now, organizing small groups of people to begin to make real and lasting change that will benefit future generations. The mission and purpose of the SSCEEF is to be a catalyst for that change.”

JEREMY HOBBS, President, Western Wind Foundation; IECF Board Member and Vice Chair; SSCEEF Founding Chairperson

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