Here’s Hoping State Tour of the Salton Sea Brings Results

California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird, pictured far left, speaks about the Salton Sea during the recent Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp. renewable energy summit.

On a recent day in March, there was an unprecedented event at the Salton Sea. A handful of State Senators joined by an Assemblyman and several other key State officials gathered for a tour of the Sea. It may have been the first time—at least the first time in recent history—so many State officials came together at one time to see the Salton Sea. And while only time will tell if such a tour will have a substantive impact on how the State addresses the Sea, it does represent a heightened awareness the State has a responsibility to manage the Sea.

The tour was organized by the Water Foundation  together with Sen. Ben Hueso, who represents San Diego and Imperial County, and Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia,

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Carlos Ortiz—A Farmer’s Son Grows Up to Protect Imperial County’s Agricultural Industry

Carlos Ortiz, Imperial County’s Agricultural Commissioner and Sealer of Weights and Measures, is pictured in a Romaine lettuce field near Holtville.

Growing up in Oxnard, the son of a field worker who immigrated to the United States under the Bracero program, Carlos Ortiz wondered why his classmates looked so forward to summer vacation.

For him, summers meant joining his father in the fields.

“I wondered, ‘Why am I out there doing this heavy work when my friends were hanging out at the beach?” Ortiz said.

He eventually came to realize the work he did built character and while he didn’t know it then, he was taking his first steps toward a career in agriculture—one that would guide him to become a leading advocate for Imperial County agriculture.

Ortiz, 57, was named Agriculture Commissioner and Sealer of Weights and Measures for Imperial County in December 2016, placing him in charge of a department that both

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