Wildlife & Wild Places

Bringing New Life to the Colorado Delta’s Fisheries

This post is part of a series on the Colorado River Delta.

Colorado River delta seriesThe Colorado River sustains more than 30 million people and vast areas of farmland.  But with no flow reaching the delta and the sea in most years, those last in line for the river in Mexico are suffering.

For the fishing town of El Golfo on the Upper Gulf of California and the native Cucapá community of El Mayor in the river’s delta, the damming and diverting of the Colorado has brought traditional ways of life to the brink.

Yet with a recent promise of returning water to the delta and Upper Gulf, there is hope for a turnaround of fortunes.

To learn more, watch this video (also embedded above).  Then help restore water to the Colorado River by joining Change the Course. Sign up online or text ‘River’ to 77177.

Fishermen in the Gulf of California at sunset
Photo: Cheryl Zook, National Geographic

Special thanks to Silk and Coca-Cola, Charter Sponsors for Change the Course. Additional funding generously provided by the Walton Family Foundation.

Sandra Postel directs the independent Global Water Policy Project and lectures, writes, and consults on international water issues. She is also Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society, and serves as lead water expert for the Society's freshwater initiative. Sandra is the author of several acclaimed books, including the award-winning Last Oasis, the basis for a PBS documentary. Her essay "Troubled Waters" was selected for Best American Science and Nature Writing. Sandra is a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment, and has been named one of the "Scientific American 50" for her contributions to water policy.
  • Z-man

    A significant fact so commonly omitted from US history and most environmental information about the Colorado River estuary system is that it was the largest river estuary system in all of N. American prior to the building of Bonneville Dam and subsequent 1930-50’s water info-structure projects. Imagine the many cascading negative effects would occur if the Mississippi or Columbia river estuary systems’ water was essentially stopped from flowing to sea in few years time? The consequences have been more far reaching than we know. For a richer and much broader perspective about the Colorado River estuary system check out the amazing documentary Vaquita, The Search For The Desert Porpoise, here http://vaquita.tv/documentary/introduction/.

  • Z-man

    A significant fact so commonly omitted from US history and most environmental information about the Colorado River estuary system is that it was the largest river estuary system in all of N. American prior to the building of Bonneville Dam and subsequent 1930-50’s water info-structure projects. Imagine the many cascading negative effects would occur if the Mississippi or Columbia river estuary systems’ water was essentially stopped from flowing to sea in few years time? The consequences have been more far reaching than we know. For a richer and much broader perspective about the Colorado River estuary system check out the amazing documentary Vaquita, The Search For The Desert Porpoise, here http://vaquita.tv/documentary/introduction/.

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