The Dying Sea

The Dying Sea

There is a place in the California desert where a pipe pokes out from a berm made of broken concrete and delivers freshwater to a dying sea. I stood there recently, on a beach of crumbled barnacles, and watched it gush. The sea was the dull blue of a cataract, surrounded by small volcanoes, bubbling mud pots, and ragged, blank mountains used for bombing practice by the Navy and the Marines. The air smelled sweet and vaguely spoiled, like a dog that has got into something on a hot day.

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