Wildlife & Wild Places

Returning the Colorado River to the Sea

This post is part of a series on the Colorado River Delta.

colorado-delta-100Once teeming with life and spanning some two million acres, the delta of the Colorado River ranked among the planet’s greatest desert deltas.

But more than half a century of damming and diverting the river’s flow to supply the burgeoning farms and cities of the American Southwest has dried out the delta’s wetlands and depleted the river.  In most years, the mighty Colorado – which sculpted the Grand Canyon – no longer reaches the sea.

But thanks to years of hard work by conservation groups on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and a groundbreaking binational agreement to return a small volume of flow to the river and its delta, this aquatic wonder is poised for a revival.  As the water returns, so will the wetlands, birds, fish, and trees that once created a verdant and vibrant landscape.

To learn more, watch this video.  Then help restore water to the Colorado River by joining Change the Course. Sign up online or text ‘River’ to 77177.

Special thanks to Silk and Coca-Cola, Charter Sponsors for Change the Course. Additional funding generously provided by the Walton Family Foundation.Colorado River

Sandra Postel directs the independent Global Water Policy Project and lectures, writes, and consults on international water issues. She is also Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society, and serves as lead water expert for the Society’s freshwater initiative. Sandra is the author of several acclaimed books, including the award-winning Last Oasis, the basis for a PBS documentary. Her essay “Troubled Waters” was selected for Best American Science and Nature Writing. Sandra is a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment, and has been named one of the “Scientific American 50” for her contributions to water policy.

  • E.Anand Rao

    nice video

  • E.Anand Rao

    nice video

  • Chris Skowron

    I found the information and video very helpful and are encouraged to learn more.

  • Chris Skowron

    I found the information and video very helpful and are encouraged to learn more.

  • Erdogan Engin

    I’m coming to America,because USA is first class and I need to looking for Arizona,Newyork city and Underwater sea?

  • Erdogan Engin

    I’m coming to America,because USA is first class and I need to looking for Arizona,Newyork city and Underwater sea?

  • nadira

    thanks for the video, but can we download???

    • The video is not available for download, but please do share the link around! Thank you — Sandra

    • The video is not available for download, but please do share the link around! Thank you — Sandra

  • nadira

    thanks for the video, but can we download???

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

Social Media