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Feds Flood Grand Canyon

Controlled deluge may help rebuild vanishing sandbars
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2008 6:27 PM CST
Feds Flood Grand Canyon
Water flows from the number one and two jet tubes at the Glen Canyon Dam Wednesday, March 5, 2008, in Page, Ariz. The Department of Interior is experimenting with high flows of water from the dam to help rebuild sandbars along the Colorado River. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Government officials sent a flood of water surging through the Grand Canyon today in a bid to mimic Mother Nature and rebuild sandbars and other natural habitat for endangered fish. The deluge will continue for three days, increasing by about four or five times the usual flow from the Grand Canyon Dam. 

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"This gives you a glimpse of what nature has been doing for millions of years, cutting through and creating this magnificent canyon," said Interior chief Dirk Kempthorne. Before the government began restricting water flow in the 1960s, natural floods continually built up sandbars necessary for native plants and fish. Now scientists are trying to make up for that. (Read more environmentalism stories.)

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