From Barren to Bountiful: 10 Before and After Photos of CO River Restoration

Courtesy Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area Corporation / An aerial view of some of the remarkable restoration that has been wrought on the lower Colorado River by the Quechan Tribe with other partners.

Indian Country Today

A win for Mother Earth and for us as natural beauty is restored

For the past several years the Quechan Tribe has been working with the City of Yuma, landowners and federal agencies to restore the wetlands on both sides of the lower Colorado River. About 1,200 acres had been restored as of 2014 thanks to a collaborative effort. The results of this teamwork and collaboration are stunning and serve as an example of what is possible when tribal members, wildlife officials, landowners and business people can accomplish together. As the photos in this gallery show, the landscape has been transformed from something that looked like a “crater on the moon”—as Charles Flynn, executive director of the rehab project, described it—to a lushly life-affirming habitat.

Mother Earth wins, and so do we.

This story was originally published May 20, 2014.