The Colorado River -- that's the river that flows through the Grand Canyon -- is flowing all the way to the sea for the first time in 16 years.

National Geographic's Water Currents blog has the story with some cool photos.

The river is making a 1,450-mile journey from the Rocky Mountains, through Arizona into Mexico and pouring out into the Gulf of California, Sandra Postel writes:

This reunion between river and sea is due to an agreement between Mexico and the United States, known as Minute 319, to advance the restoration of the Colorado Delta by releasing a pulse flow and sustaining base flows in a five-year experiment.

The pulse flow, which began on March 23, is now nearing its end. Scientists had not planned on the river reaching its estuary as part of this grand experiment. But that it has, is a wonderful bonus.

This confluence of the river and the high tides signals that “improving estuarine conditions in this upper part of the estuary is possible if restoration efforts continue in the future,” Francisco Zamora, director of the Colorado River Delta Legacy Program at the Sonoran Institute, wrote to me in an email. Zamora took the photos featured in this post on Thursday, May 15, from a low-flying plane operated by LightHawk.

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