Salton Sea Authority Gets New Director

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Roger Shintaku was appointed director of the Salton Sea Authority Dec. 8, 2012.

A water engineer who helped design the revival of Lake Elsinore has been appointed director of the Salton Sea Authority, it was announced Saturday.

Roger Shintaku, a civil engineer and technical director at Corona-based Elan Associates, will begin work in January, the authority’s board decided.

The authority — a joint powers organization based in Indio — was established to manage the restoration of the Salton Sea as a recreational destination and a center for green energy.

The state legislature also wants the water level and quality stabilized to protect regional air quality by minimizing dust.

“Everything is interconnected there: the aquatic ecosystem, the health of the water, air quality and tourism,” Shintaku said.

Shintaku said he grew up fishing and boating on the Salton Sea.

“I know what it can be. I know what recreation means in terms of the economy for the area,” he said.

“And I want future generations to have the same opportunities that I had enjoying the Sea all my life.”

The Salton Sea, southeast of Indio, is a salty inland lake that is below sea level and has no outlet.

It was created a century ago when an investment company’s canal to the Colorado River went out of control during floods, inundating what had been a dry lake.