Reclamation Awards $1.4 Million Grant for Yuma East Wetlands Restoration Work

Media Contact: Jack Simes , (928) 343-8334

For Release: June 03, 2008

Commissioner of Reclamation Robert Johnson today announced the award of a $1.4 million grant to the City of Yuma's National Heritage Area for the Yuma East Wetlands restoration project.

"Reclamation is committed to the City of Yuma and the Quechan Indian Tribe's on-going effort to improve this riparian area and the historic river channel," said Johnson.

The wetlands project is a 1,400 acre area that spans from the base of the Territorial Prison State Park to the Gila River confluence with the Colorado River. The project is designed in phases. This grant will initiate the fifth phase and concentrate along the north side of the river channel on the Quechan Indian Tribe Reservation.

Under this grant, work to be conducted will include: dewatering of select sites in the flood plain on the north side of the channel; excavation and placing of fill material; installing a new inlet and outlet structure; and non-native tree removal and replacement with native cottonwood, willow and mesquite trees. The on-site work is expected to commence in July 2008 and be completed by September 2009.

In 2000, the City of Yuma founded the Heritage Area and in 2002 it was designated a National Heritage Area. The City partnered with the Quechan Indian Tribe and they immediately went to work on the historic Yuma crossing area, from the 22nd Avenue to the Gila River confluence. It was evident to both interests that this reach of the river, significant in the region's history, was in need of attention. Plans were made to return it to its natural riparian setting. Reclamation joined in that undertaking and performed extensive investigation and study of those plans. Other partners, such as the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the Army Corps of Engineers, have joined in helping with this restoration plan.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.