Bombay Beach, Salton Sea, California

Bombay Beach, Imperial County, California

This historical aerial photograph shows California Highway 111 as it runs along the Salton Sea shoreline in 1954 before Bombay Beach, California was developed. Bombay Beach is the lowest community in the United States at 223' below sea level. Bombay Beach was once a thriving resort where guests swam, water skied and golfed. The Salton Sea ecosystem deteriorated rapidly in the 1970s as agricultural run off and pesticides polluted the sea which has no run-off. Bombay Beach marks the southern end of the San Andreas fault. A 2011 documentary film entitled Bombay Beach directed and produced by Israeli filmmaker Alma Har'el about the American Dream at the edge of a desert sea won Best Feature Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival that year. The development has turned into what Ella Morton, writing for slate.com calls 'a bleached, rusted, abandoned wasteland.'
Image ID: AHLV4420
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