Wetlands Restoration Project Underway in Delta
KREX News Room
DELTA, Colo. - A large project is underway to reclaim some of the lost wetland areas in Delta.
Crews are currently working on a nine acre plot of land near the Graff Dairy property, to reconnect it with the Gunnison River.
Because the construction of the alternative truck route is encroaching on a separate wetlands area, City Council recently approved the project to make up for that loss.
The work includes excavating 10,000 cubic yards, cutting down dozens of noxious plants and re-planting thousands of native ones.
"About 100 new Cottonwoods and about 8,600 new vegetation plants," said Phil Riley, engineering manager with the city of Delta.
Crews will be ripping up old concrete that was used to keep the river confined, which will allow it to seep into the wetland area once construction is complete.
"This area is a critical habitat for some endangered fish species and so we'll be benefiting that fish species by letting the river have a natural setting," said Andy Herb, an ecologist.
Herb says preserving wetlands not only helps wildlife, but improves water quality, helps mitigate flooding risks and can also give a little something back to the community.
"It's always a good thing to get people up and give them a place to walk around and be able to be out in the woods and enjoy the wildlife ... it's part of the Parks Department and there will be walking trails and hiking trails around the area for people," said Riley.
The excavation phase is set to cost $31,990, which city officials say has been budgeted for.