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Manmade Flood Hits Grand Canyon TodaySalem-News.com
Scientists are studying the effects of high water flows.
(PAGE, Ariz.) - Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne will open the jet tubes at Glen Canyon Dam today, that will launch an experiment using high flows from Glen Canyon Dam to study how to improve Colorado River resources in Grand Canyon National Park.
The goal of the experiment is to better understand whether higher flows can be used to rebuild eroded beaches downstream of the dam by moving sand accumulated in the riverbed onto sandbars.
Colorado River sandbars within the Grand Canyon provide habitat for wildlife, serve as camping beaches for recreationists, and supply sand needed to protect archaeological sites. High flows also create areas of low-velocity flow, or backwaters, used by young native fishes, particularly endangered humpback chub.
The experiment is a cooperative effort of three agencies of the U.S. Department of the Interior—the Bureau of Reclamation, which administers the dam; the U.S. Geological Survey, whose scientists are studying the effects of high flow; and the National Park Service, which manages Grand Canyon National Park—along with state and federal partners. The heads of all three agencies will participate in the launch.
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