On Monday we headed back into Yuma to take a walk through the East Wetlands Restoration project. This area is in the flood plain of the Colorado river although now with all the dams and the heavy use of water the river seldom floods anymore. In fact a few miles past the Morelos dam on the US / Mexico border, the Colorado River disappears into the sand and no longer flows to the Gulf of California.
According to the Wetlands website, at one time the Lower Colorado River supported 450,000 acres of native forests and wetlands. By 1986 only 100,000 acres remained with 90% of this being non-native vegetation.
They are now in the process of reclaiming the land and growing native vegetation which is also bringing back birds and other wildlife to the area. They are still in the early stages of restoration.
The Wetlands are located below the Yuma Territorial Prison. On our walk down to the wetlands we came upon the prison cemetery. No fancy gravestones here. Just a pile of rocks covering a shallow grave.
The black structure is the railway trestle built in the mid 1920's and the bridge on the far side is the Sea to Sea bridge. At the time of its construction it was the only bridge in the southwest to cross the Colorado. It replaced a ferry.
In the distance is the Interstate freeway.