The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a spending bill that would provide millions of dollars for cleanup efforts at the New River and Salton Sea and the design of reservoirs along the All-American Canal.
The measure will be referred to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
Funding for the New River wetlands project totaled $1.5 million and will be used to continue a series of ponds adjacent to the New River that will serve as a natural filtration system.
The project is administered by Desert Wildlife Unlimited. Leon Lesicka, head of DWU, said the money will fund the program from this October until October 2002.
"This is a good step," Lesicka said. "It's a little less than asked for but nevertheless it's a good step."
There are two ponds already constructed along the New River, one west of Imperial and the other west of Brawley.
The goal of the project is to clean the New River and develop wetlands along it and the Alamo River, creating recreation areas for birdwatching, hiking, fishing, hunting and other activities, Lesicka said.