As the Salton Sea Shrinks, it Leaves Behind a Toxic Reminder of the Cost of Making a Desert Bloom

It’s just past noon on a Wednesday, but the bar at the Ski Inn in Bombay Beach, California, is already packed. The crowd is mostly Canadian, snowbirds escaping to the desert spas and country club communities that dominate this southeastern corner of the state, just 50 miles from Mexico. Bombay Beach is not their destination, just a side trip to see the ruins of the once-famous party town.