Drones help prove one of our Top Pilots Eric Hanscom who has been involved in the Salton Sea environmental project. We were very curious to find out more about it.


Eric’s most recent project was on April 23rd  2016 at the Salton Sea when over 70 4-wheel drive vehicles traveled to this remote beach the eastern part of the state.  The many vehicles were arranged in a format to spell the international distress signal “SOS” which in this case was referring to “Save Our Sea”.

Drones help
Old Navy Base on the Salton Sea by EricHanscom

The Salton Sea

The Salton Sea is California’s largest and most endangered lake, and still measures about 13 by 33 miles. This sea depends on freshwater inflow to maintain its level, much of it from agricultural runoff.  With decreasing water inflow due to drought, water transfers and more efficient farming methods, the water level continues to drop at a rapid rate, creating grave danger to wildlife and people in the surrounding communities.  As the water evaporates out of the sea, it becomes saltier and saltier, and could quickly reach the point where no birds or fish would be capable to live in it, without a new water source. It is a home and resting place for over 420 different species of birds and other wildlife.

Drones help
Salton Sea Tilapia Beds by EricHanscom

Drones help

Eric is using his drone to document the before and after look of the area. He documents the crucial habitat and emissive dust spots, in addition to any restoration efforts and awareness-building community events. The Bebop has proven to be an invaluable tool to share current and changing water levels and potential project sites. Eric and the EcoMedia Compass plan to continue to publish his aerial footage to benefit awareness and restoration efforts. Eric has also begun using his drone to document the habitat around water sampling sites that the State of California is monitoring.

Drones help
Salton Sea Tilapia Beds By EricHanscom

The Bebop line of drone is an excellent choice for the Salton Sea area.  When he flies the Bebop to document changes in water level, he generally gets the drone up to different altitudes, then pan laterally across the seashore.  The Bebop is great at maintaining its altitude, even in windy conditions, and producing clear photos and videos that they can use to compare with previous flights at the same location to show how more and more of the sea bed is being exposed as the water level drops.

Eric was fortunate enough to be a part of this event and capturing the images below with his Bebop drone.  He is happy to work to bring much needed attention to the “Save Our Sea” project.  This is currently an important cause that Eric is very passionate in participating and he plans to continue volunteering his time to this project. To know more, check out Eric’s interview for Parrot.

Thanks to Eric Hanscom and Dina Dennis