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Salton Sea Authority Names New Executive Director

INDIO, Calif., Dec. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Salton Sea Authority board has appointed Roger Shintaku as the group's new executive director.

Shintaku, a civil engineer and technical director at Elan Associates in Corona, will begin work in January and participate in his first board meeting on Jan. 20.

Shintaku's background includes experience in strategic planning, project development, water resource planning and liaison work with governmental agencies. In addition, he has helped secure and process hundreds of millions of dollars in government grants and loans, making him a welcome addition to the Salton Sea Authority, a joint powers authority chartered by the state and tasked with ensuring the Sea's beneficial uses.

These uses are numerous; in addition to its recreational opportunities, the Sea provides habitat for endangered fish and waterfowl, and serves as a depository for agricultural drainage, stormwater and reclaimed water.

"I look forward to finding solutions that will help ensure a long and healthy future for this unique resource," Shintaku said.

His vision is not just to restore the Sea but to balance its uses and, as a result, revitalize the region. Shintaku sees the Sea returning to its former standing as a recreational destination and becoming a center for green energy. In addition, a healthy and stabilized Sea will protect regional air quality by minimizing contact with particulate matter that rises from dry lakebeds that become exposed as the Sea shrinks.

"Everything is interconnected there: the aquatic ecosystem, the health of the water, air quality and tourism," he said.

Shintaku comes well prepared for the job after leading a similar effort with the Lake Elsinore Management Project to reduce water loss from evaporation, improve water quality and enhance fish and wildlife habitats.

"Roger will bring a wealth of experience and ingenuity to the post," said Marion Ashley, the Authority's president and Riverside County's Fifth District supervisor. "He is just the sort of leader needed to bring the goals of the Salton Sea Authority to fruition."

Shintaku looks forward to restoring the Salton Sea, where he camped, fished and boated as a child.

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