The Colorado River Delta is an ecological treasure worth saving. Although the Colorado River Delta is less than 10 percent of its original size, it is an important stopover for more than 300,000 migratory birds along the Pacific Flyway and critical to the survival of several threatened and endangered species.
The Delta is also crucial to the cultural survival of indigenous communities on both sides of the border, particularly the Kwapa people (the Cucapá tribe in Mexico and the Cocopah tribe in the U.S.). Furthermore, as the most important freshwater input into the Upper Gulf of California, the Colorado River is vital to the health of juvenile fish nurseries including shrimp, shellfish, and finfish, as well as endangered species such as the vaquita, a marine porpoise, and totoaba, a marine fish. The Delta was declared an International Biosphere Reserve in 1993 and a RAMSAR site in 1996, giving recognition to its global ecological importance.
The overall long-term goal of the Sonoran Institute’s program in the in the Delta, in conjunction with other partners, is to enhance, restore, and maintain the Colorado River Delta ecosystem for people and the environment. Our vision is to have a healthy Delta ecosystem that provides recreation and economic development opportunities for local people, including indigenous populations, and supports healthy populations of freshwater and marine wildlife species. Read about Conservation Priorities in the Delta.
By partnering with local groups and integrating science, economics, policy reform, and on-the-ground restoration projects, our approach has already produced significant accomplishments. Read more about our approach.
Learn more about the work in the Colorado River Delta Water Trust:
“The Sonoran Institute's conservation vision in the Delta includes the human element and is therefore effective in inspiring partnerships and real action.”
-Enrique Villegas, Director of the Mexicali Department of Ecology; former Secretary of Environmental Protection for Baja California.