Login | Register | Subscribe to the GG RSS Feed

Glen Canyon Dam - The Big Flush to Save the Canyon

If you're hoping to visit the Grand Canyon in the next few days, better postpone your trip - unless you have an ark.

Grand Canyon FloodGrand Canyon FloodIt's not exactly biblical-type of flooding. It won't wash away livestock, villages and people, but today's man-made flood will hopefully wash away some of the damage that was done when the Glen Canyon Dam was built in 1963.

Early this morning, 2 giant steel tubes began shooting 300,000 gallons of water into the canyon from the base of the dam - enough to fill the Empire State Building in 20 minutes. Officials have high hopes for this flood, including a hearty stirring up of the life-giving sediment on the floor of the canyon.

"This gives you a glimpse of what nature has been doing for millions of years, cutting through and creating this magnificent canyon," Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne said after he pulled the lever to release the water into the canyon.

To see the amazing amount of water pumped into the canyon, check out the slide show on the Washington Post. Be sure to scroll through to the last picture!

The 45-year-old dam traps the sediment that once flowed freely through the canyon, and is directly responsible for the extinction of 4 types of fish and putting an additional 2 on an endangered list.

Prior to the dam, a strong monsoon season washed sand and sediment to the Paria and Little Colorado rivers, which then emptied into the Colorado below the dam. Officials hope the sudden increase in flow (4-5 times the normal amount for this time of year) will create sandbars and natural habitats for native fish.

Not everyone agrees artificially flooding the dam is a good idea though. Environmentalists argue that flood just puts the health of the canyon at further risk by too much at once. They believe permanently altering the flow of water in a way that more closely mimics nature is a smarter approach.

"They're trying to make it appear that they're doing something beneficial when they're just doing it for appearances," said Nikolai Lash, senior program director for the Grand Canyon Trust. "It's being manipulated to be a 'one and done,' even though we know that doesn't work."

The dam has been flooded twice previously in 1996 and 2004.

If you're a rafter, fisher, hiker or plan to visit the area for any reason in the next week, call the Grand Canyon National Park's River Permits Office at 1-800-959-9164. For additional information on how the high-flow event may affect your stay, visit USGS.

Related Stories

Rate This post

Post new comment

GoGirlfriend Recommendations

Connect With Us



Membership is free and with it you can set up a profile, vote on stories and post your opinions.

Already a member?

Not a member? Join!

Most Recent Comments

  • On Lesbian Adventure Travel, ELLA Travel said "Thanks for the great article!! If you're travelling to Europe check the ELLA International Lesbian Festival (ellafestival.com) and ELLA Travel (ella-travel.com), organising lesbian events and trips! "
  • On 5 Nudist Resorts that Will Blow Your Mind, John Ruze said "Hi Julia, There is a brand new, very popular nudist resort you should think about reporting on in your next article about naturism. It is the New Terra Cotta Clothing Optional Resort and Spa in sunny Palm Springs, California.. The original Terra Cotta Inn was a fantastic nude resort. Repeat guests from around the world stayed there. TCI was sold in Nov 2015 and greatly missed. Well, this July 2017, it was revived at a new location in Palm Springs. The site is HotelTerraCotta.com. Guests are super happy. It's perfect for couples and girlfriend getaways. And Tom and Mary Clare from the original Terra Cotta Inn work with us, so it has the same relaxing, fun feel. "
  • On The Best Naturist Resorts in Ontario, Dennis Wilson said "Love the freedom feeling going nude . 1st time ever was at freedom fields ranch near Tamworth On,Hector & Eyvon are super hosts ,hope to visit this summer but want to learn of more places to visit."
  • On An Open Letter to Hotels Everywhere, Lynn said "I agree on the night light thing. Since hotels have none, I end up keeping the bathroom light on all night with the door ajar. Windows. I understand in the litigious US of A, hotels need to prevent folks from throwing themselves out the windows (or else the hotel could be sued?!!). Ok, fine. But for those of us who dislike A/C and only use it when absolutely necessary, can't we still have the option for some FRESH AIR? There ARE ways to allow windows to open up only so much, while at the same time preventing an entire body from throwing itself out the window. Bedskirts. Am I the only one who gets the skeevies when I see hotel beds with bedskirts that hit the floor? I always had images of food crumbs, bugs, and god only knows what...as being hidden behind that bedskirt. I'd much rather a bedskirt that's at least 2" above the (usually carpetted) floor. Towels. Can't we get nicer towels that don't feel like cardboard? Carpetting. Am I the only one who never walks barefoot in a hotel room ...esp when there's carpet? Blech. I'm sure those things are very rarely cleaned. "
  • On How to Choose a Cruise Ship Cabin on Your Next Cruise, Tinu said "Thank you for this post! I was dragging my feet about going on a cruise. Now that I know there's such a thing as a balcony cabin, I can't wait to book a trip!"

Blogs We Love

beautiful Vancouver, British ColumbiaCheck out our GoGirlfriend Facebook page to follow us as we seek new adventures and create memories in our own part of the world.