Gulf of California
Environmental Impact at River's End
Because the Colorado River once flowed into the Gulf, but now rarely does, many changes are occuring in the estuarine environment at the far northern end. The northern gulf has many endemic species including populations of the endangered vaquita (harbor porpoise) and the totoaba (a large endangered fish).
When construction along the Colorado River began, environmental impacts were not a major concern. Dams inhibit periodic flooding that would wash away and renew its sand banks. Because of the stability of the sand banks, several non-native species of plants became established along many sections of the river, thus negatively impacting the native wildlife.
Photo by Natural History Magazine.
See the location on the Colorado River Interactive Map.