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Breaking Point

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Catalogue Number:  TVP012
Producer:  Video Project, Inc.
Producing Agencies:  Palomar College Television
Subject:  Canadian World Studies, Documentary, Environmental Studies, Science, Social Sciences, Sociology
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin:  United States
Copyright Year:  2014
Running Time:  60:00

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One of the worst ecological disaster in U.S. history is rapidly approaching, a casualty of the drought and “water wars” in the Southwest. California's largest lake – the Salton Sea in the Sonoran desert - is disappearing.

As Breaking Point reveals, large swaths of lake bed are already exposed and salt levels drastically increased due to mandated water transfers to metropolitan areas along the California coast and other factors that limit water inflow.

If no action is taken in the next few years, rising salinity will cause the deaths of 100 million fish, eliminating the main food source for hundreds of species of migratory birds -- the second-greatest diversity of bird species in the United States. The National Audubon Society considers the Salton Sea a bird site of global significance.

There would also be substantial human impact. After years of agricultural runoff into the Sea, the lake bed is toxic, with high levels of arsenic, selenium and traces of the pesticide DDT. As the lake recedes, massive toxic dust storms will threaten the health of millions of people living in surrounding communities, including as far away as Los Angeles.

Breaking Point 
mixes dramatic aerial images of the lake and close­ups of its shores with commentary from scientists, government officials and local residents to present the history of the Salton Sea, the missed opportunities that have plagued the Sea for decades, and the current options for saving it, which will likely cost billions of dollars.

The Salton Sea has reached its breaking point, and time is running out.

Winner, Four Pacific Southwest Emmy Awards (including Documentary Program)

Audience Choice Award, Best Full Length Documentary, Oceanside International Film Festival

Best of Festival Award, Julian Film Festival


Sedona International Film Festival
American Documentary Film Festival
Newport Beach Film Festival
Oceanside International Film Festival
Julian Film Festival
Laughlin International Film Festival
Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, New York

"An engaging and timely production... Facts are well presented, and there is much to think about and discuss as other natural and urban areas face similar problems around the globe.” –School Library Journal

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