A new sensor installed above the Salton Sea will help researchers study the sea's impact on air quality in the Coachella Valley.
Local non-profit "Alianza Coachella Valley" partnered with the East Valley community and academic institutions - -including UCLA -- to deploy this air quality sensor directly above the water.
The project is meant to address local concerns about the sea's air and water quality -- measuring any pollutants produced by the sea. This includes hydrogen sulfide -- which creates that “rotten egg” smell many valley residents are familiar with.
Alianza's founder says this sensor is a big milestone in the study of the Salton Sea.
"It's been difficult, because of the lack of monitors, to be able to really pinpoint the contribution that the Salton Sea is having. Oftentimes we talk about other sources of contaminants, but in conversations about the Salton Sea, that often tends to be minimized. so this information will be able to help us see if there is any correlation to the contamination we are seeing in the air," said Silvia Paz, founder of Alianza.
Water quality monitoring of the Salton Sea has been historically challenging due to the difficulty of launching boats into the sea. This new sensor will collect data continuously -- helping identify any public health concerns and actions to be taken.