Bruce Wilcox

Assistant Secretary Salton Sea Policy

California Department of Natural Resources


Wilcox is the Assistant Secretary for Salton Sea Policy, where he manages the development and implementation of the State’s Salton Sea Management program. In that role he works closely with the Salton Sea Authority, the water districts, counties and other Salton Sea stakeholders to develop a management strategy for the Salton Sea. 

Wilcox has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in reclamation ecology and has worked on numerous large scale mitigation or restoration programs over the last 25 years.  He managed the development of IID and Imperial County’s Salton Sea Restoration and Renewable Energy Initiative framework program and is a member of the Salton Sea Authority’s Ad Hoc Project development Committee.

Prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary by Governor Brown he was the Manager of Environmental and Salton Sea programs for the Imperial Irrigation District.  There he managed the development and implementation of the QSA water transfer mitigation program and the development of Salton Sea programs.    

Title: California’s Salton Sea Management Program

8:50am - Thursday, May 12th

Abstract: Increasing salinity and declining lake elevations have combined to make for dire circumstances at the Salton Sea.  Climate change and changes in water use practices, including one of the largest agricultural to urban water transfers are exacerbating this problem.  The presentation will include a brief review of past Salton Sea restoration programs proposed and will discuss the current proposed Salton Sea Management Program.  The program, to be implemented by the State of California includes a short, mid and long range plan to create a smaller, but sustainable lake for the future.  The program utilizes an incremental approach, dictated by site logistics and funding availability, to develop projects around the perimeter of the lake.  The projects are designed to provide multiple benefits beyond their primary goals of air quality mitigation and sustainable wildlife habitat.  The projects in the program are also designed to be compatible with the development of renewable energy resources such geothermal and solar energy.  Along with short and midterm goals the state is developing a long range plan that will explore other options for management of the lake including water import and water quality treatment along with the private sector development of renewable energy as a component of the plan.