Friday, 7 March 2008

Grand Canyon Flooded!

The Grand Canyon is being flooded over three days in a bid to improve habitats and rebuild beaches. More than 300,000 gallons of water per second were released from Lake Powell above the dam near the Arizona-Utah border. Officials hope the water will leave behind sediment and restore sandbars as it goes back to normal levels. Officials have flooded the canyon twice before, in 1996 and 2004. Before the dam was built in 1963, the river was warm and muddy, and natural flooding built up sandbars that are essential to native plant and fish species. The river is now cool and clear, its sediment blocked by the dam.
Shrinking beaches have led to the loss of half the camping sites in the canyon in the past decade. Since Glen Canyon Dam was built, 98 percent of the sediment carried by the Colorado River has been lost. Read more here and watch a couple of videos here and here. This is a bit controversial as no one knows whether this will work or not. What do you think? Worth a try or too much interference with nature?

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