Mere weeks after California stateSenator Barbara Boxer called for "urgent" help to restore the Salton Sea, the Federal government has announced it joined forces with the state of California to create a long-term plan for the future of its largest lake.
"Our conservation effort is more critical, more urgent than ever," the President said at a summit in Lake Tahoe Wednesday afternoon. "In partnership with California, we're going to reverse the deterioration of the Salton Sea before it is too late, and that's going to help a lot of folks all across the West."
Earlier Wednesday morning, the Obama administration released information on its plans, which include supporting: the state's Salton Sea Task Force Agency, creating innovative conservation approaches, developing new clean energy resources, and improving public health, and raising an additional $10 million for the efforts.
Following the Summit, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael Connor and State of California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird signed a Memorandum of Understanding to aid the collaborative effort.
However, some environmental organizations say while they are pleased to see the attention, it's a small step in a long race.
"It's not a lot of money and it's not going to solve all the problems," vice chair of the Califonia Sierra Club Jono Hildner told KESQ and CBS Local 2. "But the great thing is you don't make a journey in a single leap. You start with some early steps."
Senater Boxer reiterated that sentiment during the summit.
"We are here to celebrate the progress, but we have more work to do," she said in a speech before the President took the stage.
In a written statement Boxer said in part, "The only way we will save the Salton Sea is with a broad coalition that includes every level of government and the private sector as well. I am very pleased that our coalition is growing as the state and Department of Interior have forged a new partnership to restore the Sea."
According to the White House, a 2014 study found that Californians could face $70 billion in costs, ranging from lower property values to dramatically higher health care costs for respiratory illness, if action is not taken to save the Sea.
As of 7:30 Wednesday evening, the Coachella Valley was still under an odor advisory issued by the South Coast Air Quality Management District for the smell of rotten eggs, which experts say is related to elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide coming off of the sea.