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Desert Shores, off Highway 86,
Imperial County

Diversified Realty and Investments
800-385-1040

Let's compare: size of Pacific Ocean: 69,000,000 square miles. Price of houses overlooking Pacific Ocean: humongous. Size of Salton Sea? 525 square miles. Price of houses and land around its edge: How about $30,000 for a 50-by-190-foot seaside lot with "breathtaking sea and mountain views?" Or a 2 bedroom, 2 bath plus "extra large room" near the water for $65,000? Alas, this coast lacks a little more than Del Mar panache. The dreams back in the '50s of creating "California's New Mediterranean" never came to pass. Partly it was the farmers' pesticide run-offs. Partly it was the fluctuations in the sea's levels, partly it was the gradual deaths of the area's fish and birds, the increasing salinity, the feeling that this accidental sea might disappear as quickly as it appeared in 1906, when a Mexican irrigation dike on the Colorado River gave way, and the water flowed north and formed this landlocked sea. But all of that could be forgiven if it just wasn't so hot. That's the one thing they don't show in the pictures.

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