Amid the extreme aridity of the vast Colorado Desert of eastern San Diego County, a ribbon of greenery allows life to thrive. The Sentenac Cienega area inside Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is more than 100 miles southeast of Irvine. It contains a desert wetland, which is part of the San Felipe Creek watershed that is fed by nearby mountains and ultimately flows into the Salton Sea. But the wetland is sick from invasive, non-native plants, and its water levels are dangerously low. Researchers from UCI are trying to figure out why.