Breaking Point
Breaking Point
Breaking Point
Item#: BRE-811
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Running Time: 60 minutes
Grades 7 - Adult
Scene Selection • Closed Captioned
A Film by Bill Wisneski, Palomar College Television



"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

"An amazing job bringing a complicated subject to the screen in a non-biased and scientifically supported way."
-Patty Deen, Professor of Geology, Palomar College

"Absolutely fantastic! You nailed the complexity of the Sea with great visual artwork! Very compelling. Best video I have seen yet on the Salton Sea."
-Dr. Timothy Krantz, Professor, Environmental Studies, University of Redlands

"An admirable job. Your film tells a very complex story. I especially like the means of addressing historical events."
-Doug Barnum, Certified Wildlife Biologist, US Geological Survey

"We were mightily impressed. Its intellectual and production values elevate it…. I've been covering the Salton Sea since 2001 and still there were things I learned in the documentary. It will help save what I believe to be a vital environmental and natural resource."
-Stephen Siciliano, special correspondent, Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs (BNA)


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




All prices include DVD and limited PPR
• K-12 Schools, Public Libraries & Community Groups: $79
• Colleges, Government, Business: $195
• Colleges, Government, Business (with DSL): $495


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.