Death of a River: The Colorado River Delta9 MINS2011
In August 2010, Alexandra Cousteau's Expedition Blue Planet crossed over the Arizona/Mexico border to follow the Colorado's dry riverbed to its historic mouth in the Upper Gulf of California where its nutrient-rich waters no longer reach the sea. The stately Colorado, that same iconic river of history that carved out the Grand Canyon and made the deserts bloom in the American southwest, now ends in hypersaline mudflat rather than a punctuation mark of aquatic biodiversity. Our unsustainable demands and shortsighted management of the Colorado River literally exhaust its supply; its 1,450-mile long path now ends in the dust and shimmering heat of the Mexican desert. In Death of a River, Alexandra and her team join Ornithologist Dr. Osvel Hinojosa-Huerta and agriculture and water expert Dr. Yamillet Carrillo-Guerrero to explore the impacts of a broken river and disappearing wetlands. Our loss is not only calculated in the collapse of more than 2 million acres of wetland - a fertile delta the size of Rhode Island - but also the impoverishment of critical estuaries where the river once met the sea.