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Every week we scour dozens of sources to bring you the latest environmental news for the Desert Southwest. Click a date above to read that day's edition. Want your news included? Email us.

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High School Students View Breaking Point Documentary

DPC’s Imperial County Conservation and Projects Coordinator, Terry Weiner, was thrilled to be invited by Jose Flores, Social Studies Department Chair of Brawley Union High School in Brawley California, to show Breaking Point, a most beautiful, comprehensive and compelling documentary on the geological, human and natural history of the Salton Sea. 

On Monday morning May 9th, in two separate screenings in Palmer Auditorium, more than 700 high school students learned about the beauty and critical importance of the Salton Sea to birds, invertebrates, fish and other mammals, as well as human beings. The film elaborates on the decades of hand-wringing on the part of scientists, agencies and politicians but the utter lack of implementation of a single plan to protect the Salton Sea from becoming ever more salty as it evaporates more and more rapidly. The film eloquently portrays the international importance of this last available stopover for migrating birds on the Pacific Flyway. It addresses the urgency of the imminent air quality emergency and economic and environmental disaster, which will impact millions of people in southern California when all Colorado water inflows to the Salton Sea will cease in 2017. 

DPC imagined the students would have questions after viewing Breaking Point, so Chris Schoneman and Katie Maikis from the Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge were asked to be available for answering questions following the film. The students did have lots of questions, such as, “What are you (those of us showing the film) doing about this?” and “What can we do?”  “How can we help?” 

Some of the solutions the students conceived for themselves include: The journalism students can write articles, letters to the editor. They can join the group Save Our Sea and organize press conferences and conduct community meetings. They can talk to their friends, their parents and to their teachers. They can arrange to visit the Salton Sea and see for themselves what an incredible and important resource in the Salton Sea they have in their immediate back yard. 

DPC thanks Jose Flores for being a visionary teacher, who ably leads his civics students to appreciate the connection and interdependence of all living things and the interconnection of all disciplines. Literature, history, ecology and politics are all inextricably intertwined. Appreciating them all, as part of a whole, immensely enhances the understanding and enjoyment of school, and life!

Everyone in the country needs to see this riveting documentary.